Program Development & Implementation Lead, Housing Justice During COVID-19 Pilot

Position: Program Development & Implementation Consultant, Housing Justice During COVID-19 Pilot
Contract Period: Approximately 16 hours per week from September 15, 2022 through August 31, 2023
Status: Project-Based & Part-Time
Location: New Brunswick, NJ, with some travel throughout Middlesex County. Must have capacity for virtual meetings through Zoom or phone call. Evening hours 1-2 evenings per month as needed to coordinate with stakeholders during program development and implementation
Compensation: $40/hour
Reports to: Executive Director & Director of Harm Reduction Services
The New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition (NJHRC) seeks a talented, motivated, and dedicated consultant to lead development and implementation of our “Housing Justice During COVID-19” Pilot. This pilot is funded through a grant from NASTAD/AIDS United’s Expanding SSP Capacity to Respond to COVID initiative. This role will be responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of the pilot, with support from NJHRC’s Executive Director and Director of Harm Reduction Services.

About the Housing Justice Pilot Program

This pilot is inspired by lessons learned from other harm reduction providers across the country. Essentially, people who use drugs and/or who are living with a substance use disorder who are also chronically homeless are often underrepresented in the “by-name lists” used to coordinate and triage available homelessness services.
This underrepresentation results in people who use drugs not getting housing resources they are qualified for. It also results in less federal funding for permanent supportive housing and Housing First units for regional Continuums of Care (which coordinate homelessness services across a geographic region) than should be available to them, which means fewer housing options for people who use drugs and who are experiencing homelessness.
The Housing Justice During COVID-19 Pilot will connect people who are both using drugs and who are chronically unhoused to available housing resources in Middlesex County and, in doing so, evaluate and document the extent to which additional housing resources are needed. The pilot will also connect participants with COVID-19 education and vaccination resources and conduct assessments to better understand unmet COVID-19 prevention and response needs.

About the Role

A strong demonstrated commitment to racial justice, health equity, and the dignity and autonomy of people who use drugs is a must, as is the ability to meet people where they are at without judgment or stigmatization.
The ideal candidate will have experience with program design and implementation, stakeholder/partnership development, and creating leadership pipelines for direct service program participants. Competitive applicants will also have a strong understanding of harm reduction and the value of community care that does not require abstinence from substance use for participants.
This experience can be demonstrated in lots of different ways. This position has no educational, citizenship, drug testing, or background check prerequisites. People with personal experience with syringe access, drug use, sex work/trade, homelessness, and the War on Drugs; Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color; women/femme, gender expansive, and members of LGBTQIA+ communities; and people living with HIV/AIDS and/or Hepatitis C and/or chronic health conditions are strongly encouraged to apply.

Essential Responsibilities

Pilot Development (30%)
  • Coordinate directly with the Middlesex County Continuum of Care to develop a process for connecting harm reduction programs to the county’s homelessness management information system (HMIS) and for enrolling eligible participants experiencing homelessness in the county’s by-name housing list
  • Analyze available administrative data and conduct landscape assessment on housing options and housing need for residents both living with substance use disorder and experiencing chronic homelessness in Middlesex County
  • Develop pilot outreach strategy for reaching and enrolling residents who are unhoused and/or who use drugs or are living with a substance use disorder
  • Research best practices for supporting harm reduction participants during COVID-19 and incorporate best practices as appropriate in pilot, including developing partnerships with vaccination providers
Participant Engagement & Resource Navigation (30%)
  • Implement screening and enrollment for pilot and navigation to available services (estimated screening of 120 people and enrollment of 40 people)
  • Connect eligible participants with cell phones and data plans as needed to navigate available resources
  • Identify, recruit, and support NJHRC participant(s) in joining Middlesex Continuum of Care client advisory council and NJHRC member advisory council
  • Host two focus group conversations on participant experiences during COVID-19 and vaccination perceptions
  • Lead NJHRC’s participation in Middlesex County “Point-In-Time” count (January 2023)
Please note that this pilot will have an available budget to contract an additional person to support screening and enrollment for approximately 10 hours per week for 40 weeks. 
Material Creation (10%)
  • Develop housing navigation education materials for pilot participants and harm reduction program participants
  • Develop COVID-19 risk reduction materials for pilot participants and NJHRC harm reduction program participants
  • Collaborate with NJHRC program participants to review materials and graphic designer to produce/design materials
Pilot Evaluation & Recommendations (30%)
  • Collaborate with Executive Director to create and implement evaluation for Housing Justice During COVID-19 Pilot
  • Document successes and challenges of pilot and present to NJHRC participants, staff, and community stakeholders
  • Identify gaps in available housing for people who use drugs and/or people living with a substance use disorder (SUD) who are experiencing homelessness and make recommendations on steps needed to fill gaps


  • Commitment to supporting people who use drugs through harm reduction strategies
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Reliable and trustworthy
  • Demonstrated experience in program development, implementation, and evaluation including:
      • As self-starter leading and executing a project, including setting and accomplishing deliverables and managing relationships with vendors for project deliverables 
      • Working directly and collaboratively with people who are unhoused and/or accessing harm reduction services
  • Demonstrated experience with case management, navigation, motivational interviewing, and/or group facilitation preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement programs that are accessible in both English and Spanish language preferred (not required) 
  • Comfort with using Google Suite, including Gmail, GoogleDrive, GoogleCalendar, and GoogleDocs, and GoogleSheet, as well as Microsoft Word (will provide training for the right candidate)

To Apply

We are accepting consultant applicants through August 12, 2022 on a rolling basis until the consulting position is filled. Please submit a cover letter, writing sample, and resume (no specific format required) to with “LAST NAME — Housing Justice Pilot Consultant” in the subject. 

Please note that we define a writing sample as “something you’ve written that demonstrates the way you think thorough and capture ideas through writing and communicate ideas or strategy with others.” Examples of a writing sample could be a program plan or evaluation; research report; op-ed; or educational material you created. We do not expect you to write something new for this application. 

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