Paid Peer Volunteer Opportunity With HIM (Interior Health Region)

Written on 09/18/2021
Health Initiative for Men


Health Initiative for Men (HIM) is excited to announce the launch of our Community Connectors Program. The goal of this new program is to create a team of self-identified GBQ (gay, bisexual, and queer) Two Spirit and gender diverse people across the Interior of BC to assist HIM with implementing a robust online and in -person outreach program. 

This initiative is designed to assist other self-identified GBQ, Two Spirit and gender diverse people to locate health care and community resources within their own regions, with a priority on HIV and STI testing, providing information and access to harm reduction supplies, as well as community and healthcare supports for people living with HIV. There is honoraria of up to $400 per person available for these positions.

Who we are looking for: 

A Connector is someone who:

  • Identifies as Two Spirit and/or GBQ and/or gender diverse
  • Wants to contribute to building community within their home community
  • Fairly tech savvy and knows how to use apps like Grindr and Scruff

Volunteer position title: HIM Community Connector
Posting date: Ongoing
Manager contact information: Dylan Wall, Coordinator, Interior Region: Dylan@checkhimout.ca Posting closing date: N/A
Location: Interior Region Position duration: Flexible
Position type: Direct service/netreach
Service area: Multiple service areas


Statement of volunteer value

At Health Initiative for Men (HIM), volunteers play an essential role in bringing our mission and vision to life. We value volunteers for their roles as ambassadors, mentors, board directors, leaders, supporters, educators, advocates, and as members of the communities of self-identified GBQ, Two Spirit and Gender Diverse people. At HIM, we value the unique gifts as well as the personal needs and diversity of our volunteers and embrace the benefits of volunteering for purposeful personal growth and social connection. THIS IS A PAID OPPORTUNITY, HONORARIA IS AVAILABLE – please discuss remuneration with program coordinator.


Purpose of the Position

This position is to increase resources and connection for communities of Two Spirit, GBQ, and Gender Diverse People across the Interior Health Region. The position will engage one on one and in larger settings to provide resources and services.


Position Specifics

HIM Community Connectors are trained volunteers who work 1-1 with members of the communities of self-identified gay, bi and queer men, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people.

Community Connectors will have multiple opportunities to engage with HIM and peers, based on the Connector’s interests, skillset, and personal experience. These include:

1. Connect with clients virtually and/or in person, and respond to inquiries on the phone, via the internet, and face to face as COVID-19 realities allow. Trained and supported by HIM staff, HIM Connectors provide clients information regarding local health services as they relate to members of our communities. These may include some of the following:

  • Access to HIV prevention tools, including PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis)
  • Harm reduction programs and supplies, including condoms and substance use supplies
  • HIV prevention counselling
  • Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, and HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Peer and professional counselling
  • HIV/STI testing and treatment
  • Social and physical activity groups

​2. Provide feedback, direction, and support on HIM’s programming and activities in the Interior

3. Collaborate with HIM staff and other HIM Connectors to identify and implement opportunities for meaningful engagement within their local regions. These include but are not limited to:

  • Distribute harm reduction and educational materials at community events, local businesses, and community organizations.
  • Participate in person engagement at locations that are frequented by self-identified gay, bi and queer men, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people, and relevant community events.

WHAT HIM OFFERS YOU: HIM Community Connectors work as part of a team as the frontline of HIM’s integrated services for GBT2Q, under the direct supervision of and support from Program Coordinator, Interior Region.

This opportunity will provide volunteers with training and support from HIM staff, including:

1. Motivational interviewing which they utilize to help clients clarify the root cause of a challenge, and facilitate decision making,

2. Setting goals to make effective and lasting change,

3. Promote local access to existing community support and health services.

4. Other relevant trainings and supports offered as opportunities arise.

This opportunity will provide volunteers with training, hands on experience in community health promotion, motivational interviewing and on-going appreciation activities and events.

HIM Community Connectors largely work remotely in order to maximize the potential for access. Regional and online team-building events and activities, HIM Connectors build a network of support and regular check ins and opportunities to debrief with HIM staff.


Responsibilities and duties

● Welcome respondents to the HIM Connects Program

● Stay up to date on current trends and services within their communities.

● Responds to email and web inquiries, takes messages as necessary.

● Provide relevant information/referrals to HIM Community Connectors clients or refers inquiries to other members of the team as appropriate.

● Assess client needs and promote various community health services as necessary.

● Maintain filing system and GBTQ2 health services directory.

● Work 1-1 with clients to clarify root causes contributing to and provide appropriate referrals for ones current issues.

● Attend community events and distribute harm reduction supplies and educational materials

● Assist in maintenance of resource inventory

● Work with HIM Staff and HIM Connects team to identify issues within their communities and brainstorm possible solutions.

● Participate in trainings, regular supervision, and team meetings and/or voluntary social events as required

● Adhere to HIM’s confidentiality policies and all other relevant policies and procedures

● Be inclusive and understanding of the client’s current life circumstances (i.e.: housing status, income level, cultural/ethnic background, etc.)


Qualifications

● We require Connectors self-identify as a member of communities of self-identified GBQ, Two Spirit, and Gender Diverse People.

● Be comfortable working 1-1 with GBT2Q in the community.

● Willingness to learn and follow coaching framework.

● Efficient scheduling and time management.

● Well-grounded understanding of the importance of confidentiality

● Some experience with 1-1 helping is beneficial to this position.


Commitment expected 

● We recommend a one-year commitment to the program. 


Training

● HIM institute training which includes basic de-escalation training. (approximately 16 hours)

● Coaching with HIM training (20 hours)

● Other training related to helping or coaching is beneficial

● First aid and other health intervention training is an asset.


Other details

Safety, privacy and confidentiality. HIM acknowledges that doing this work in smaller communities can raise concerns about volunteer's privacy. When doing netreach, the HIM Connector will be using a generic profile with no personal information attached to it.

When working in community, you may encounter folks looking to challenge the position and role of HIM and our values. When this occurs pass this person off to a HIM staff member when present or provide HIM staff contact information and remove yourself from the situation using the tools gained from the de-escalation training that is provided during HIM Institute Training. Always follow the safety protocols outlined in the Volunteer Handbook and Volunteer Policies and Procedures Manual including filing an incident report


If you have any questions, they can be forwarded to me directly at dylan@checkhimout.ca