The ROOTS Young Adult Shelter wouldn’t be able to open our doors each night without volunteers!  Our volunteers do work each day that is essential to carrying out the mission of ROOTS!

Volunteers are needed to help set up and clean up shelter areas, prepare and serve meals, hand out supplies, supervise and enforce program guidelines, and interact and build positive relationships with guests.  If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity that is fun, rewarding, and beneficial to young people, look no further!  Check out the variety of different opportunities for volunteering here.

In order to help maintain a sense of stability and consistency for our guest population, we ask that all in shelter volunteers commit to volunteering a minimum of 12 hours a month for four months.  We require all volunteers to attend a volunteer orientation and complete a background check and application prior to volunteering at ROOTS. All of our in shelter volunteers are required to attend our free conflict de-escalation training within their first month of volunteering with ROOTS to help increase their skills in milieu management. We require that all volunteers attend the University District Service Providers Alliance training, “The Ropes: Understanding and Engaging Youth Homelessness.” Finally, we ask all of our volunteers to attend Race: The Power of an Illusion. Visit our trainings page for more information.

Wonder what current volunteers have to say about ROOTS?

Meet Ellie!  Ellie is an overnight supervisor who started volunteering with us as an evening volunteer in January 2012.

  1. How did you come to ROOTS?

“I chose ROOTS as my community service learning placement for my program at the UW.”

  1. What have you gained from volunteering at ROOTS?

“Volunteering at ROOTS has given me a much better understanding of the issues leading to homelessness for young adults.  It has helped me connect to a community within the U-District that I otherwise may never have had the privilege to get to know.”

  1. Why would you encourage other people to volunteer with ROOTS?

“Out of all the volunteer work I have done in the past, ROOTS stands out as the most receptive and appreciative to the volunteers.  When volunteering with ROOTS you become part of a hardworking, dedicated team always excited to be participating in an amazing organization.  The relationships built between volunteers and guests are unique and valuable for both parties.  There is nothing more rewarding than being able to see a guest work toward bettering their circumstances and helping in any way along their journey.”

Come see what ROOTS is like for you! Please contact our Volunteer Manager at if you are interested in volunteering at ROOTS.