ROOTS is looking for two AmeriCorps members for the 2018-2019 program year!  For more information, and to apply, please click on the link below.




ROOTS Young Adult Shelter
Position Announcement

JOB TITLE:       ROOTS Morning Volunteer Mentor
REPORTS TO:  ROOTS Volunteer Services Manager


Responsibilities: The Volunteer Mentor is responsible for training and coaching ROOTS Young Adult Shelter (RYAS) volunteers, in conjunction with the Volunteer Services Manager, Program Managers, and Overnight Supervisors. These duties will be conducted in accordance with the ROOTS Vision and Mission, agency policies and procedures, as well as relevant federal, state and local standards, guidelines and regulations.

Authority: The Volunteer Mentor mentors all RYAS volunteer positions, except that of the Overnight Supervisor. This includes support, training, evaluation and development of these team members in concert with the Program Managers and Supervisors on staff.

Accountability: The Volunteer Mentor is accountable to the Volunteer Services Manager to support operational performance of the Shelter Program in support of the ROOTS Vision and Mission.

Compensation: This is an hourly position with an hourly rate of $15.75/hour.


ROOTS delivers critical services to homeless young adults and other low income persons, advocates for policies that foster dignity and long-term solutions, and works toward building community partnerships.

ROOTS currently operates two direct services programs: the Friday Feast meal program, recognized by Seattle’s homeless newspaper Real Change as “the best of all soup kitchens” and serving over 8000 meals per year; and the ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, the largest emergency shelter in Seattle for young adults. Its mission is to offer critical emergency services in an atmosphere of welcoming hospitality.  The shelter operates 365 days a year with a heavy reliance on volunteers.


  • Demonstrate understanding of and dedication to ROOTS vision and mission
  • Adhere to ROOTS Policies and Procedures, represent and promote  organizational values
  • Perform duties as workload necessitates while demonstrating flexible and efficient time management and ability to prioritize workload
  • Maintain a positive and respectful attitude and strive to create a compassionate but safe and consistent environment in the shelter
  • Communicate proactively with the Volunteer Services Manager; invest in team approach in working with staff and volunteers


  • Supervise teams of 3-5 volunteers per shift, this includes:
    • Assign and train volunteers to perform shelter tasks
    • Coordinate with kitchen volunteers to ensure that they have enough support and supplies to prepare meal for 45 guests; identify morning volunteers to perform kitchen shifts and help kitchen volunteers figure out what food to prepare and serve, as needed
    • Check in with each volunteer during each shift to provide volunteers with individualized logistical and emotional support
    • Support volunteers in their self-care and trauma processing
  • Introduce volunteers to staff and the space:
    • Greet volunteers and maintain a welcoming environment
    • Assist with nametags, help volunteers sign in (using service learning binder if applicable)
    • Introduce volunteers to other volunteers and guests
    • Teach experienced volunteers how to mentor new volunteers
    • Pair volunteers with a buddy to set up space and perform other functions
  • Review rules and expectations for both guests and volunteers
  • Assist Overnight Counselor with conflict de-escalation, as needed
  • Ensure guests leave shelter on-time and that shelter clean-up is completed by 8:30AM
  • Coach volunteers on the following:
    • Conflict de-escalation strategies and techniques
    • Rule enforcement strategies and effective communication with guests and staff
    • Guest engagement: Demonstrate appropriate conversations and trust building
  • Lead opening and debrief meetings:
    • Provide volunteers with general shelter announcements and updates during each opening meeting, and encourage volunteers to sign up for required trainings
    • Inform volunteers about behavior contracts and no-contacts between guests, as needed
  • Create scenario discussion topics to be facilitated during opening meeting, on a monthly basis:
    • Perform independent research to generate topics that align with ROOTS’ anti-oppression framework for scenario discussion, either based on current issues of oppression playing out in society or oppression within shelter space
    • Create one page written outline that summarizes issue of oppression, to provide volunteers background information on selected topic
    • Generate discussion questions related to scenario topic, to be discussed by volunteers during opening meeting
  • Check in with volunteers throughout the shift and following debrief meetings to assess their performance and provide support, as needed
  • Working as part of a team to ensure shelter runs smoothly:
    • Coordinate with PMs, ESs, OSs throughout the night and during debrief to ensure each shelter task receives sufficient coverage
    • Work with ROOTS staff and volunteers in maintaining the shelter facility, assisting with organizing and maintaining shelter supplies and donations.
  • Duties outside of Shelter Hours of Operation:
    • Track and monitor volunteer schedule for assigned night(s) in shelter to ensure sufficient coverage; adjust the schedule when volunteers call out and work with Volunteer Services Manager to find additional coverage for shifts that are short staffed
    • Complete performance evaluations for service learning students and others volunteering with ROOTS for academic credit
    • Write academic letters of recommendation for outstanding volunteers, as requested
    • Meet with volunteers outside of shelter, to discuss any issues or problems within shelter, as needed
    • Participate in regular meetings with the program staff and supervisors
    • Co-Facilitate All-Team meetings, as needed
    • Utilize electronic volunteer database to assist with volunteer record keeping and hours tracking
    • Check ROOTS email account 3-4 times per week and promptly respond to messages from volunteers, Volunteer Services Manager and other shelter staff
  • Guest-related responsibilities:
    • Build good rapport with shelter guests, respond to conflicts and concerns fairly and respectfully
    • Ability to de-escalate conflicts between guests, between guests and volunteers, and between volunteers
    • Support the guest leadership program by tracking guests leadership time and delegating tasks to leadership guests
    • Ensure that volunteer interactions with guests and with one another adhere to ROOTS’ rules, values, philosophy of engagement and anti-oppression principles
  • Organize and maintain shelter supplies and donations
  • Familiarity with shelter policies and practices and written records required by ROOTS
  • Other duties as assigned by the Volunteer Services Manager, which may include:
    • Co-facilitating volunteer orientations and trainings
    • Scheduling volunteers for shifts
    • Creating materials and content for shelter (flyers, posters, training guides, etc)


  • Experience working with young adults or homeless and under-served groups, including demonstrated ability to positively engage with people in need
  • Must have highly developed communication skills: ability to communicate the written and spoken word clearly and effectively; ability to communicate to a wide variety of people with ease
  • Ability to identify and disrupt instances of oppression and hold difficult conversations
  • Good organizational skills: well disciplined, able to meet deadlines, self-starter, able to work under pressure of many priorities and deadlines
  • Good interpersonal and facilitation skills; demonstrated ability to train and coach quality volunteers
  • Solid understanding of issues related to poverty, racism, and homelessness and capacity to advocate and build programs that counteract the oppression of those we serve
  • Current or former ROOTS shelter volunteer

Application deadline: Job closed when filled

Send cover letter, resume, and supplemental questions to:

Jordan Beaudry
ROOTS Volunteer Manager
1415 NE 43rd Street  Seattle, WA  98105
or jordan@rootsinfo.org

ROOTS is an equal opportunity employer. LGBTQ, persons of color, and bilingual candidates encouraged to apply.