Social Worker

From its activist beginnings as an underground needle exchange, New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE) is now New York’s largest syringe exchange program, serving over 5,000 low-income drug users and street-based sex workers each year in the Bronx and East Harlem using a unique street-side, low-threshold model. Rooted in social and economic justice, NYHRE provides integrated educational, supportive and substance use services in a non-coercive, grass roots manner that help participants empower themselves, improve the quality of their lives and have a positive impact on our communities.

NYHRE encourages a collaborative environment where staff are expected to be proactive in their work and encouraged to actively participate in the improvement of service delivery and the development of programs.

Position Summary:

The Social Worker will ensure the provision of low-threshold individual and group mental health services to participants who are using drugs, engaging in sex work or who have a history of drug use and have recently been released from incarceration. NYHRE’s service model is based on educating participants and facilitating empowerment so that individuals advocate for themselves and make their own change in their lives. Consistent with this philosophy, the Social Worker helps participants identify their strengths, their goals and the barriers to making positive change. Service provision takes place at the mobile syringe exchange sites as well as in the office.


  • Provide non-judgmental, low-threshold and culturally relevant individual and group mental health counseling to NYHRE participants.
  • Conduct street outreach for mental health services and the NYHRE program in and around the mobile sites.
  • Conduct “inreach” among participants in the waiting area and in the area immediately outside the office.
  • Make referrals to appropriate external services and maintain appropriate referral resources.
  • Supervise all social work interns and assist with recruitment. This will include assigning and monitoring tasks, managing workload, fielding questions and concerns, following up on documentation issues, and providing clinical guidance as needed.
  • Serve as liaison to UPRISE Peer Training Program, and provide individual counseling sessions for Peer Trainees as needed.
  • Maintain proper documentation, including audit worthy participant files and up-to-date mental health log.
  • Assist Director of Supportive Services in monitoring compliance with contractual agreements of funders, including data submission, maintenance of files, and general quality assurance.
  • Work collaboratively as part of a team and across departments to provide relevant and integrated services.
  • Participate in clinical supervision, team meetings, staff meetings, and agency-wide case conferences.
  • Represent NYHRE as required in the community, at conferences and with other service providers.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Experience/Additional qualifications:

  • Must be an LMSW and be SIFI certified or able to enroll in Field Instructor training.
  • 3 years experience providing direct-service required, and 1-3 years experience supervising direct-service staff strongly desired.
  • We are specifically looking for candidates with an active commitment to harm reduction, syringe exchange and social justice as it pertains to individuals who use drugs or engage in sex work.
  • We are also looking for a candidate who is interested in unconventional and alternative models of mental health service delivery.
  • Must be an organized, self-motivated team-player, with strong interpersonal skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability and willingness to be hands-on and solve problems as they arise.
  • Must be willing and able to work outdoors at our street sites as well as offering in-office services.
  • Basic computer skills necessary, including MS Office, Excel, and use of the internet for research.
  • Bilingual (Spanish) highly preferred.

Reports to: Director of Supportive Services

Supervises: 4-6 Social Work Interns

Status: Full-time, some evening and weekend hours may be required.

How to apply

Send a resume, a cover letter that effectively addresses the responsibilities and salary requirements to Johanna Breyer at Subject line should read, “Social Worker position – last name“. The attachments should be entitled “Lastname, Firstname CoverLetter”, and “Lastname, Firstname Resume”. No calls please.

NYHRE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Individuals who have personal experience with drug use, PLWHA, women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and the formerly incarcerated are strongly encouraged to apply.

New York, New York
New York Harm Reduction Educators (NYHRE)
Johanna Breyer

1991A Lexington Avenue, New York, New York, 10035, United States