How to Apply
Understanding the Requirements & Guidelines
What to Expect
Thank you for your interest in volunteering! We’re happy to have you join our team of amazing volunteers. Those choosing to volunteer at the Shelter tend to find it a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Some of our volunteers have been part of the Shelter for many years! Please review the volunteer requirements, guidelines and available positions before applying. Thank you!
Volunteer Requirements - All Volunteers
- Age Requirement
Youth volunteers must be at least 16 years old and be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times while at the Shelter. Volunteers between the age of 16 and 18 must be accompanied by a parent / guardian volunteer. Additionally, there are a limited number of roles that youth volunteers are pemitted to fill. See Volunteer Positions below for information.
- Seasonal Scheduling
The Shelter operates year-round with ongoing volunteer opportunities to support our staff and residents. We have two scheduling sessions, October through April with a change in May through September. Volunteers can join the Shelter team any time during the year.
In order to best support our needs and the needs of those we serve, the Shelter asks that individual volunteers commit to engage in a minimum of 3 months of service.
- Tour and Training
All new volunteers must take a Shelter tour and training with the Volunteer Manager. Trainings will be scheduled individually with the Volunteer Manager, and will last approximately 45-60 minutes.
Volunteer Guidelines - All Volunteers
- Your role as a volunteer is a critical part of our operations at the Shelter. We would not be able to serve hot meals or provide the level of service we do to our residents without your support. As a result, please carefully consider the level of commitment you are able to make to volunteering, and do your very best to come for all of your scheduled shifts. If something urgent comes up and you cannot make it to a shift, please remove yourself from the web-based volunteer calendar as soon in advance as possible. Volunteer Program staff will send you instructions for how to do so. If you ever find that the regular schedule you have committed has become unsustainable, please reach out to see how we might be able to alter it to better suit your schedule and prevent frequent absences.
- Anyone under the age of 18 must be directly supervised by an adult volunteer, and any children who accompany adult volunteers must be at least 16 years old.
- Please arrive for your scheduled shift on time and stay for the period of time for which you have committed.
- Please uphold the Shelter’s confidentiality policy (see section below).
- The Shelter is dedicated to its core values of respect and dignity for everyone in the building. In the unlikely event that a resident chooses to treat you or your work with disrespect, please do not respond in kind. Please do not raise your voice, posture or engage in any physical contact (except what is needed to get out of harm’s way), use inappropriate language, or engage in conversation that is likely to escalate the problem. Instead, remove yourself from the conversation and call for staff support.
- Please defer to staff authority in all matters. Inform staff members of any rule violations or inappropriate situations that you may witness, but do not try to enforce Shelter rules with residents yourself – the work of holding residents accountable for their behavior should be handled by staff.
- Please develop and maintain healthy, professional boundaries with Shelter residents. Do not give residents personal information such as your last name, address, e-mail, or phone number. Do not give rides, money, personal letters, or gifts to residents at the Shelter, and do not accept these items either.
- Photography or videography without prior approval from Volunteer Program staff is strictly prohibited.
- Proselytizing of religious or political views, verbally or with written materials, is not allowed.
- Please do not open the door at the Shelter unless you are asked to do so by a staff member.
- Please wear closed toed shoes, long pants, and comfortable clothing you don’t mind potentially getting a little dirty. This will allow you to move around freely and help the residents without any discomfort or distraction. Clothing that is revealing or offensive in nature is not appropriate for this setting.
- Please do not come to the Shelter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
It is Shelter policy that we do not confirm or deny a person’s presence at the Shelter, nor do we provide resident information (name, current situation, etc.) to others. Exceptions are made in cases where it is vital to the resident’s welfare or if the information is being requested by a law officer, and if either situation arises a staff member will communicate the necessary information that has been requested.
As a volunteer, your presence at the Shelter requires a level of trust and confidentiality. If you are unsure about a situation regarding resident confidentiality, please speak with staff on shift or the Volunteer Program staff.
Additional Kitchen Volunteer Guidelines
Sick food workers are at high risk for contaminating food and utensils with bacteria or viruses. For this reason, sick volunteers must be restricted or excluded from working with any food or food service equipment.
If you are demonstrating the following symptoms, please don’t come in for your volunteer shift, contact the Volunteer Program Manager or your group coordinator with notice:
- Sore Throat with Fever
- Infected Cuts or Lesions on Hands/Wrists
- Persistent Coughing, Sneezing, Runny NoseFood Worker PoliciesAll Kitchen Volunteers must maintain good hygienic practices, including:
- Drinking beverages in designated areas (away from the serving line, in the back kitchen) only. There is no eatingallowed in the kitchen. If you’d like to have some food, please take a to-go box with you.
We have two “prep sinks”: the ones sunk into the prep counter tops. These sinks are fair game for cleaning produce, water for cooking or drinking and cleaning. However, they cannot be used for hand washing or washing dishes, nor should they have any food scraps put in them.
- Secure long hair and wear clean clothes
- Keeping fingernails clean and trimmed
- Remove all jewelry from hands and wrists (only a single ring is permitted)
- Remove apron before entering the restroom or leaving the food prep area
- Wear close toed shoesHand Washing and Glove UseProper hand washing is the single most effective way to stop the spread of disease. Always thoroughly wash hands:
- When entering the kitchen.
- When returning from the restroom
- After handling raw meat, poultry, fish or eggs
- After touching face or hair
- After handling dirty dishes
- Before putting on new glovesProper Hand Washing Method
- Rub hands vigorously with soap and warm water for 15 seconds
- Rinse well for 5 seconds
- Dry thoroughly with paper towel
- Turn off the faucet handles using a paper towel
Hand Washing Sinks
Hand washing sinks must be used for hand washing only. Do not block sinks or use for any other purpose. They must be clear of debris, utensils, and may not be used for drinking water. Hand washing sinks are accompanied by a paper towel dispenser, soap dispenser and accompanied by yellow hand washing instructional signs.
Always wash your hands before putting on a new pair of gloves. Change your gloves and wash your hands whenever the gloves become contaminated, including:
- After handling raw meat, poultry, fish or eggs
- After touching your face or hair
- After touching unclean dishes or trash cans
- When changing tasks
- Before meal service
- Gloves must be worn over any bandages, cuts, burns or sores. They should be considered an extension of your hands and not a replacement for good hand washing practices.Bare Hand Contact and Ready-to-Eat FoodsDo not touch ready to eat foods with your bare hands. Avoid bare hand contact by using single-use gloves, utensils, deli tissue etc. Ready to eat foods are foods that do not require any cooking or heating before being served. In the Shelter kitchen, common examples include:
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Breads, Cookies and Pastries
Join an Existing Group
Have you been invited to volunteer with an existing Shelter volunteer group? If so, please follow these instructions so that you can apply online and know what to expect.
Please be sure you have reviewed the the Volunteer Requirements and Guidelines, (above), and then complete the application.
Note: On the application, please find the group name you are joining in the drop down list under “Group Affiliation”. If your group name is not there, please type it into the text box.
Here is what you can expect in your dinner shift experience:
You are welcome to park in the parking lot behind the Shelter.
You will find that the doors to the building are locked. Ring the doorbell and a staff member will let you in and escort you to the kitchen
If you have a backpack or bulky jackets with you, ask staff if you can hang these items in Dorm Supply during your shift.
Wash your hands, grab an apron, and put on some gloves.
Read the instructions packet provided by our Kitchen Manager. It will have all the information you need to jump right in!
Please reach out to staff if you have any questions or concerns during your shift.
Sign Up For Any Available Position
Please be sure you have reviewed the the Volunteer Requirements and Guidelines, (above), and then complete the application. If you are not intending to join a specific existing group, please proceed to the application and skip the section on group affiliation.