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Substance Use Community Needs Assessment Coordinator, MIND Program, Moving in New Directions Inc.

Scarborough, Ontario
Deadline June 20, 2016

The M.I.N.D. Program Moving in New Directions Inc. is a new charity. We seek to improve the sense of meaning, belonging and well-being in Toronto Community Housing in southwest Scarborough.

Our Assessment Coordinator will run a full Substance Use Community Needs Assessment. From this we will learn the needs of those who use substances in this community. Then we can plan for future harm reduction services.

This is a great opportunity to start and finish an important project in a much needed area.
Key Tasks

1.  Set up and work with a project advisory committee.

  • Recruit a diverse and engaged volunteer committee. Members will know harm reduction or substance use, be part of 682 Warden Ave. and 40 Firvalley Court, or work at like agencies.
  • Meet with the committee at least every two months for advice on interview questions, meaning of data, and comment on findings.

2.  Run weekly drop-ins at these two Toronto Community Housing buildings.

  • Recruit, train and direct peer workers to assist with the project.
  • Engage and build relationships with members of this community who use substances, are street-involved or engage in risky activities.
  • Collect data on demographics, substance use, and needs from informal, small group activities.
  • Give out information about local services through partner agencies.

3.  Lead a substance use community needs survey with at least 25% of the residents.

  • Prepare a paper survey in simple language. The goal is to gather data on demographics, substance use, needs as seen by community members, and contacts with local services.
  • Direct distribution of the surveys by peer workers.
  • Collect and analyze data from the surveys.

4.  Interview at least 20 people who use substances.

  • Prepare a list of open-ended questions.
  • Run interviews.
  • Write stories from the interviews describing needs, service accessibility and barriers.

5.  Do a survey of local service providers.

  • Collect data re services open to community members.
  • Name agencies with services and other resources for the needs of people who use substances.
  • Name gaps in such services.

6.  Write a report on the assessment findings.

  • Write a full report in simple language. This will include demographics, substance use, needs of people who use, use of local services, and barriers to getting services.
  • Give the report to community members, service providers, partners and other stakeholders

7.  Host a community forum to report on the findings. Attendees will include at least 20 community members, one partner agency and one other service agency.

  • Set up and run a community forum to give out the findings of the needs assessment.
  • Help participants to name next steps to meet unmet needs. Add these to the final report.

Needed Experience and Skills:

  • English fluency is essential
  • legally able to work in Canada
  • able to take initiative and complete projects on time with little direct supervision
  • has done program development or community-based participatory research
  • has worked with substance users or other vulnerable people
  • knows about addictions and harm reduction
  • shown skill in listening to and gaining trust from a wide variety of people
  • understands need for sensitivity and confidentiality
  • excellent speaking and writing skills
  • shown administrative skills, including the ability to organize, prioritize competing demands, lead group processes, analyze and summarize data
  • earlier work with needs assessments is an asset

This experience and skills would usually be gained from post high-school studies and work as a social worker, community worker or addictions counsellor.

Terms: This is a one-year project at 17 hrs/week paying $22/hr beginning Aug. 1, 2016.
To Apply:

Submit cover letter and resume in PDF or MS Word format to by June 20, 2016.

The position is open to all qualified applicants, although preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. MIND is an inclusive and equitable organization encouraging applications from qualified women and men including persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and Indigenous persons.