Mpowerment Counselor

Mpowerment Counselor

Project Living Out Loud (LOL) Drop-In Center

Jersey City, NJ

Under the supervision of the Prevention Manager, the Mpowerment Counselor performs the assigned duties related to the implementation and evaluation of Hyacinth’s Mpowerment program Project Living Out Loud (LOL) in Jersey City, NJ. Project LOL is a directly funded program under the Center for Disease Control Funding Opportunity Announcement PS17-1704: Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Projects for Young Men of Color Who Have Sex with Men and Young Transgender Persons of Color. The program’s drop-in center functions as a safe space for prevention, care and treatment services and activities for YMSMC in Hudson and surrounding counties between the ages of 13-29 years old during nontraditional office hours. 

Duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Maintain Core Group Members who will base decisions on the project’s guiding principles. This core groups must  do the following: make important decisions (e.g.,  planning intervention activities, developing materials for project campaigns and outreach), represent racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity, change over time as new men join and others leave , support and encourage each other and other friends with regard to safer sex schedule regular meetings that are fun, social, productive  review and evaluate all parts of the project, their own roles in the project, and issues facing young gay and bisexual men
  • Recruit Volunteers who will represent racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity. Volunteers, who will make important decisions, learn new skills and conduct meaningful and interesting work (usually devoting less time than core group members). support each other and stress the importance of safer sex and of HIV testing create a warm, appreciative, social, and welcoming atmosphere
  • Conduct Informal Outreach that spreads a norm of safer sex and HIV antibody testing, uses peer influence to change behavior , is achieved through nonjudgmental and supportive peer interactions  and is reinforced through other project activities .
  • Hold M-groups that are led by well-trained and skilled project staff, volunteers, or both, that addresses issues important to young gay and bisexual men and creates social opportunities. Teach safer sex, sexual negotiation skills, and how to do informal outreach. M-groups that encourage project involvement and volunteerism are scheduled regularly.
  • Conduct a Publicity Campaign that creates attractive informative materials reminds young gay and bisexual men of the importance of safer sex, encourages HIV testing and seeking of medical care. If HIV infected reaches all young gay and bisexual men in the community focuses on young gay and bisexual men, not the general community.
  • Assist with Outreach for Counseling Testing and Referral Services offered via our mobile unit and through in house testing of participants who access and frequent the project space.
  • Conduct HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral Services in conjunction with the CTR Coordinator and other project staff in order to successfully meet grant objectives for testing YMSMC in the Hudson County community.
  • Conduct Health Education and Risk Reduction Educational sessions at locations and venues that the target populations frequent or to community gatekeepers or providers that have access to the target population of the project.
  • Recruit and Maintain a functioning Community Advisory Board comprised of community leaders, gatekeepers, and project alumni that have influence and access to the identified target population of the project.

Professional Responsibilities:

  • Attend and participate in staff meetings and supervisory conferences.
  • Maintain working relationships with other community providers.
  • Observe established administrative procedures.
  • Provide written reports and maintain statistics as required.
  • Represent the agency at community events, meetings and conferences.
  • Attend and participate in staff training opportunities.
  • Participate in evaluation activities based on program goals and objectives

Qualifications:

  •  Commitment to Hyacinth philosophy
  • Must be knowledgeable about HIV.AIDS prevention with gay men gay male sexuality and gay male issues. Must be familiar with the local young gay/bisexual men’s community. Must be able to work effectively and sensitively with homosexually active men of vary socio-cultural backgrounds and levels of homosexual identification
  • Strong program development skills, with an emphasis on enhancing adolescent’s leadership skills and abilities.
  • Successful and demonstrated completion of NJDHSTS Test Decision Counseling, Results Counseling and Partner Notification Counseling course.
  • Bachelor’s degree plus two years experience in HIV/AIDS or related field preferred. A candidate, who has no degree but seems exceptionally suitable, will be considered if he/she has four additional years of relevant experience.
  • Knowledge of the effective behavioral intervention Mpowerment model
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong graphic design and marketing skills are a plus.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends.
  • Access to currently registered car and a valid driver’s license.
  • Ability to drive a medium size mobile testing unit throughout the community, in the absence of the CTR Coordinator.