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July 30, 2012

Position: Outreach Worker (Relief) - London CAReS Initiative

Reports to: London CAReS Team Leader

Position Summary

A team of seven people, comprised of one team leader and six outreach workers, which includes a mobile unit, who will work year round going along the river paths, parks and streets in and around the core downtown areas of London to actively engage people through outreach to apply the principles of London CAReS and its housing stability program. The outreach team’s role is to establish a presence and a rapport with individuals who are at urgent risk of becoming homeless and those who are chronically or persistently homeless, becoming known and trusted amongst this community. Over time, after building a relationship, the team assesses the needs of a client through a standardized assessment tool, assist them to acquire housing, identify intervention recommendations through an individual service plan and support their transition to an intensive case management housing approach as part of the London CAReS 2.0 model.

The Outreach Team provides outreach:

    • in isolated and rough areas at times;
    • in pairs of two workers to minimize risks to safety in isolated locations;
    • with flexible hours ofwork; and,
    • with a designated mobile outreach vehicle
    • outside in all seasons of weather;

Details of Contract/Hours of Work

  • Immediate start – December 31, 2013
  • Relief, Contract Position
  • Includes evenings, weekends and public holidays
  • Schedule may vary according to program needs
  • Respond to on-call needs from supervisors
  • Participate in the on-call system

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Requirements

  • Post-secondary education in social services or related field
  • Experience working with individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Have experience in working with identified London CAReS priority
    populations(youth, Aboriginal People, older adults and women)
  • Thorough understanding of harm reduction theory and demonstrated ability to implement harm reduction strategies
  • Minimum 2 years clinical work or practicum experience in addictions and mental health
  • Access to a reliable vehicle
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Satisfactory Police Records Check and Vulnerable Position Screening

Job Duties

  • Detect and prioritize individuals and families who are new to street culture including those at urgent risk of 
    becoming homeless as a result of harmful substance use and other underlying issues including trauma and mental health; and individuals who are chronically and or persistently homeless
  • Locate individuals and map their locations throughout the core downtown areas of London
  • Engage with individuals and families to build a quality working rapport, providing information, improving access to mainstream services and facilitating the process of securing housing for individuals who want housing
  • Engage with local residents and businesses to support outcome focussed discussions
  • Help establish and participate in the on-call system to support clients after hours once they are housed
  • Administer provincially mandated standardized screening tools
  • Provide mental health screening, referrals for psychiatric consultation, mental health supports and referrals to community resources
  • Provide and facilitate referrals to addiction resources as appropriate
  • Provide referrals to all appropriate social and health related services based on participant wishes
  • Provide support and active linkages (accompanied) to men and women recently released from incarceration or awaiting admission to programs
  • Offer harm reduction strategies as well as abstinence strategies based on participants intentions and stated needs
  • Share information about health and community/social services and link participants to same
  • Link participants to harm reduction initiatives available in the community
  • Provide information about London CAReS
  • Provide information and services to assist with stabilization
  • Provide opportunities to clinical consultation about addiction issues
  • Work in collaboration and consultation with London CAReS personnel
  • Monitor and record  the needs of the community for London CAReS
  • Track demographics of clients as per evaluation requirements
  • Attend all London CAReS outreach meetings
  • Maintain awareness of, and adherence to policies and protocols as outlined in the Policy and Procedure Manual
  • Generate reports as required
  • Meets service targets as identified at outset of contract
  • Assist with evaluation of London CAReS through submission of required data and interpretation in reports
  • Other duties as directed by London CAReS Coordinator, Team Leader, Executive Director of ADSTV and/or Manager of Homelessness, City of London
  • Accompany participants to appointments
  • work within an integrated case management plan including completing shift and case notes
  • Alert the Team Leader of information that could affect the safety and well-being of street involved individuals including bad drugs, dangerous offenders or predators
  • Respond through a harm reduction approach
  • Collaborate with community stakeholders such as the London Police Service, emergency medical services, hospital emergency department social workers, Ontario Works and staff from safe havens, drop-ins emergency shelters for homeless individuals

Working Conditions

  • Works outside in all seasons of weather
  • In isolated and rough areas at times
  • In pairs of two workers to minimize risks to safety in isolated locations
  • With flexible hours of work
  • With a designated mobile outreach vehicle
  • May be exposed to infectious waste, diseases, conditions, etc., including exposure to HIV, AIDS and hepatitis viruses
  • Manual dexterity required to use desktop computer and peripherals
  • Moderate physical activity including standing, sitting, lifting
  • Extensive walking

ATTN: Grant Martin

186 King Street London, ON N6A 1C7

Or e-mail at:

We thank all applicants for their interest but regret only those selected for an interview will be acknowledged. No phone calls please.

July 5, 2012

Nominations are now open for this important agency award that recognizes the great work of RHAC's volunteers.

The award is one of three: Voice, Knowledge and Hope, conceived in 2011 to reflect the outstanding contributions of volunteers to the work of the agency. One may be awarded each year on a rotating basis.

On September 8, 2011 the first Hope award was given to Ana Maria Castillo. Her more than 20 years of activism, optimism and support of our community is a rare treasure, just like her!

Who do you think should be the next award recipient? Click the link above to see a description of the criteria for nominations and to access the nomination form.

For more information, please contact Natalie Hebert, Coordinator of Volunteer Services, at 519-434-1601 or by emailing


June 8, 2012

Sex Workers Speak Out : A Community Dialogue About Sex Work With Sex Workers

Cost: $40 including lunch (subsidies available)
255 Horton Street East, London on 3rd floor
When: Friday, June 8, 2012
Registration: 8:30 a.m.
Forum runs from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Morning speakers, afternoon Conversation Cafe)

Too often sex workers'  voices are silenced in conversations about violence against women.

This full-day event features speakers such as Nikki Thomas from Sex Professionals of Canada, Angie Murie from Planned  Parenthood Waterloo Region and Jessica Danforth from Native Youth Sexual Health Network. Come listen and be part of the conversation.

What are the challenges sex workers face in keeping themselves safe? When and where would sex workers appreciate allies? How do the views and judgements of individuals and institutions influence sex work?

Forum poster available.


May 29, 2012

Students from Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Donate over $23,000!

Tachycardia (or “Tachy” for short) is a 56-year tradition at The University of Western Ontario. It is an annual theatrical production that lets medical students from Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry give back to London and its medical communities.

Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) is honoured to continue to be selected as the charitable recipient of the proceeds from this wonderful community event! Thanks to students from Schulich, staff and community members, this year the March production of Tachycardia raised over $23,000 for RHAC!

Money raised helps Regional HIV/AIDS Connection provide programs and support services for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. It also allows us to continue Open Closet, our weekly social support program for LGBT2Q youth.

Thank you, Tachycardia for your ongoing generous contribution to the local HIV/AIDS cause!

May 7, 2012

Please join us for a screening of "Small Town Gay Bar" on Tuesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. in the community room at RHAC, 186 King Street, London.

"Small Town Gay Bar" is a 2006 documentary by famed film producer Kevin Smith (Chasing Amy, Clerks). The film explores gay bars and establishments throughout the bible belt, and shows how many bar owners are responsible for more than just a good time.

A discussion will follow the screening.

For more information, contact Kevin Murphy at or by calling 519-434-1601, toll free at 1-866-920-1601.

April 30, 2012

Sunfest 2012

Sunfest is an annual multicultural music festival held in Victoria Park in downtown London. The festival draws tens of thousands of people every year from all over southwestern Ontario.

Each year, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) has a booth in the park where we provide free educational resources about HIV/AIDS, STIs  and hepatitis C. There will be educational games tailored toward youth and inspiring stories and art work from people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs).We also provide free condoms and lubricant.

For more information about our booth contact Mercy at 519-434-1601.

For more information about volunteering for RHAC and making a difference in our communities, please contact Natalie at 519-434-1601.

RHAC will be at Sunfest in Victoria Park the following times:

Thurs., July 5 from  4-6 p.m.
Fri., July 6 from 6-9 p.m.
Sat., July 7 from 1-9 p.m.
Sun., July 8 from 1-9 p.m.

For more information about Sunfest visit

Pride London Festival 2012

Pride in London provides an annual opportunity to generate celebratory, cultural, artistic and educational events which affirm the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, trangender and two-spirited people and supporters through activities which promote unity, inclusion and awareness of sexual and gender diversity.

Regional HV/AIDS Connection attends Pride every year. Our presence affirms RHAC’s history as an organization born out of the struggles of the gay community in the early 80s relative to HIV/AIDS.

We set up a booth the final weekend of Pride where we provide free educational resources about HIV/AIDS, STIs and hepatitis C as well as free condoms and lubricant. Each year, we partner with Options Anonymous HIV Testing Clinic to provide HIV testing opportunities.

No name. No waiting. Know your HIV status.

Options Anonymous HIV Testing Clinic will be in Victoria Park on the north side of the bandshell the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, July 28 from 1-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 29 from 12-4 p.m.

For more information, please contact Kevin Murphy at 519-434-1601.

Pride poster.

Visit to find out more about Pride London Festival.


March 7, 2012

For 30 years HIV/AIDS has been a local concern as well as an international epidemic. Since the early years, many women in our community have dedicated their professional lives to working with people living with, affected by and at risk for HIV. On International Women's Day, we are taking a moment to honour six women who have made significant contributions locally to the HIV movement.

Gloria Aykroyd MSW, RSW

Since 1991, Gloria Aykroyd has been the Program Coordinator and a social worker at Infectious Diseases Care Program (formerly known as HIV Care Program) in London.  Gloria is co-chair of the Ontario HIV Outpatient Clinic Directors and Coordinators Network, and in 2008 completed a 3-year term as the coordinator representative on the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) Board. Gloria has been an abstract reviewer for OHTN and formerly was the co-chair of OHTN’s Health Care Provider Network Advisory Committee.

Gloria has served on the Board of Directors for London Regional AIDS Hospice, more commonly known as John Gordon Home, and on the Diocese of Huron AIDS Education Committee. This committee formed Camp Wendake, a camp for persons living with HIV, their partners and loved ones at which Gloria was a cook for four years.

She is a member of numerous professional organizations and committees and is co-chair of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Ethics Education and Consultation Committee.
Gloria has worked for over 37 years as a social worker, including many years experience in child welfare and children's mental health. She also has a home-based private practice and wellness business.

Brenda Done

Brenda Done has worked in a variety of capacities at St. Joseph’s Health Care London since June 1979, including charge nurse in both the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit and adult Intensive Care Unit. She also spent time on the intravenous team honing her blood-taking expertise! For the past 20 years, Brenda has been the clinic nurse for the Infectious Diseases Care Program (IDCP), an outpatient facility providing care for those infected and affected with HIV/AIDS.

Brenda has had the privilege of serving on the board of directors for several AIDS related organizations including: Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN), Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC), John Gordon Home and AIDS Committee of London (now RHAC).

Shannon Dougherty

Shannon Dougherty has a degree in Psychology/Women’s Studies from Glendon College at York University in Toronto.

A feminist activist and ardent supporter of social justice causes for over 25 years, Shannon has often been heard to say she would be ready to chain herself to the Peace Tower in Ottawa to fight for the rights of marginalized people anytime the needs arises.

She began working in the social services sector in 1994, firstly with street-involved youth and then made her way to AIDS Committee of London as a Women’s Support Worker. 
Shannon has been the Director of Client Services at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (formerly ACOL) since 2003. She oversees the agency’s client programs and services, including those designed to serve HIV+ women and women at risk for HIV/AIDS.

Jane Paisley-Canning

Jane Paisley-Canning has been a public health nurse at Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) since1998. She currently works in the Family Planning and Sexually Transmitted Infection clinics and is responsible for follow-up on reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
Jane has always enjoyed working one-on-one with clients and in 2001, after several years working in sexual health, she was fortunate to become involved in HIV follow-up, which she describes as being “very rewarding”.
She is one of two nurses responsible for newly diagnosed HIV case follow-up. They support clients associated with several facilities such as Elgin Middlesex Detention Center, My Sister’s Place, Women’s Community House, John Gordon Home, Children’s Aid Society, Center of Hope and Regional HIV/AIDS Connection. MLHU provides counselling, education and information, referral, assistance with partner notification, support and services for newly diagnosed clients and partners or family, as needed. They offer a variety of services including STI testing and treatment/referral, a sexual health promotion program and a needle exchange program.
Jane and her colleagues value collaboration with RHAC, Options Clinic and Infectious Disease Care Program through contact with counselling staff, referrals and the needle exchange program. 

Margaret Pelz MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry)

Margaret Pelz joined the HIV Care Programme (now Infectious Diseases Care Program (IDCP)) at St. Joseph’s Health Care in 1999. There she was mentored by Dr. Mark Halman and learned through her colleagues, Gloria Aykroyd and Brenda Done at IDCP as well as Shannon Dougherty at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.

Margaret has worked with staff at RHAC since joining IDCP and in 2009, she moved her office space into RHAC at 186 King Street where she works closely with the Client Services team to manage the health of HIV+ clients.
Margaret’s professional interests lie with HIV and mood disorders, especially depression and bipolar disorder, co-infection with hepatitis C and triple diagnoses of HIV, severe psychiatric illness and substance use.

Lyn Pitman

Lyn Pitman’s involvement in HIV work began at AIDS Committee of London (ACOL) in 1989.  In 1994, Lyn moved on to work at London Intercommunity Health Centre (LIHC), as the Coordinator of its Anonymous HIV Testing Clinic, known to many as “The Options Clinic”.   She values the strong relationship built over the years with RHAC and continues to support the partnership between LIHC and RHAC by providing several anonymous HIV testing clinics each year in the six counties served by Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.

Outside of work, Lyn spends time with her partner Bob and their daughter Zai, who was ACOL’s first baby, welcomed and celebrated by both staff and clients 20 years ago!

March 6, 2012

Open to: Service providers, students and clients who have an interest in learning about hep C and the services available in London for people living with hepatitis C.

FREE - Lunch will be provided R.S.V.P.

R.S.V.P. Contact: Sarah Wood at or Richard MacDonagh at or by calling either at 519-434-1601

Event poster

There are new and exciting services in London for people living with, affected by and at risk for hepatitis C:

•hep C testing


•social support

•support with basic needs and addictions

The information fair is a chance for you to:

•see what agencies are providing direct hep C services and learn how to refer clients to these services

•meet and make connections with the workers who are providing direct services to people living with hep C

•find out all of the services that are available to people living with hep C

•get information and resources on hep C to bring back to your agencies

January 31, 2012

All Staff and Board of RHAC Sign The Ontario Accord on January 19, 2012.

Regional HIV/AIDS Connection is committed to adhering to the principles of The Ontario Accord because the greater involvement and meaningful engagment of people living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA/MIPA) must be at the center of our work if we are to effectively deliver on our mission of addressing the challenges associated with HIV/AIDS.

The staff and board of Regional HIV/AIDS Connection (RHAC) commenced 2012 by coming together for a day to learn, explore and further develop our understanding and application of GIPA/MIPA (Greater/Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PHA)) within our organization. We took this opportunity to re-state our commitment to this philosophy of service delivery and share ways in which GIPA can engage PHAs and serve the organization’s mission.  GIPA is about human rights, inclusion, self determination and dignity of the full human being and RHAC deeply embraces these concepts as we strive to deliver on our mission.

At our first annual GIPA ceremony on January 19, each staff and board member signed the accord to demonstrate Regional HIV/AIDS Connection’s commitment to advancing GIPA. We will hold a ceremony on an annual basis to recognize our progress and renew our commitment to this integral element of the HIV/AIDS movement.

GIPA is, and will continue to be, in the forefront of our work. If you are living with HIV, we invite you to get involved with RHAC in ways that bring meaning to you as an individual. To those living with HIV who currently help bring GIPA to life at RHAC each day—we sincerely thank you! 

January 13, 2012

Free, anonymous HIV testing clinic this Friday, January 13 at Central Community Health Centre in St. Thomas, 359 Talbot Street from 2-4 p.m.. No health card or appointment required - just walk in! Pre and post test counselling provided. Test results for you in about 20 minutes.