Volunteer Opportunities

Evening, dinner, overnight, morning and breakfast volunteers are required to come in once per week on a consistent day at a consistent time. All evening, dinner, overnight, morning and breakfast volunteers must complete our Volunteer Orientation before volunteering with ROOTS. New volunteers must complete our Anti-Oppression 101, Conflict De-Escalation, and ROPES of Youth Homelessness Trainings within 3 months of beginning with ROOTS.

Click here to learn more about required ROOTS trainings.

View training calendar.


Evening Volunteer

When: 8pm-11pm; any day of the week

What would I be doing? ROOTS evening volunteers engage with guests to socialize and build community, while working as part of a team to ensure the emotional and physical safety of the shelter space. Evening volunteers help set up the shelter, complete intake paperwork for new guests, hand out hygiene supplies and bedding, and supervise guest activities such as computer time and smoke breaks. Most importantly, evening volunteers spend time with guests chatting over dinner, playing board games, and watching TV together. Evening volunteers provide guests with a sense of stability while helping ensure our shelter runs smoothly and efficiently.

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Dinner Meal Team

When: 7:30pm-11pm; any day of the week

What would I be doing? Dinner meal team volunteers work in teams of 3-5 to prepare meals, serve dinner and clean up the kitchen. ROOTS guests typically don't have much control over the food that they have to eat each day. Dinner Meal Crews support our guests by ensuring guests are able to access nutritious meals that support the overall health of our guests. We also encourage our Dinner Meal Team to bring in food that they want to prepare in our kitchen.

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Overnight Volunteer

When: 8pm-8:30am Sat-Thurs; 8pm-9:30am Fri

What would I be doing? Overnight volunteers do similar roles as the evening volunteers before lights out in shelter (10:30pm). After lights out volunteers rotate through having a 2 hour ‘awake’ shift where they are responsible for helping to monitor the space, doing walk through’s of the room every 10 minutes, being available if guests need emergency assistance, and completing guest laundry. There are 4-5 overnight volunteers each night, who are supported by an overnight counselor staff member that remains awake the entire night. Volunteers can sleep the other 6 hours of lights off (11pm-6:45am Sat-Thurs; 11pm-7am Fri) when they are not on their awake shift. Mats and bedding are provided. From 6:45am (7am Fridays) until 8:30am, Overnight volunteers assist our morning floor volunteers. This is a great way to spend the most time impacting your community and building connections. It’s also generally where we have the greatest need and struggle with capacity.

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Morning Volunteer

When: 6:45am-8:30am Sun-Fri; 7:15am-9:30am Sat

What would I be doing?Morning volunteers work as part of a team to engage with guests, hand out hygiene supplies, assist with laundry, help guests retrieve supplies from their cubbies, help clean up shelter, enforce program rules and help ensure the emotional and physical safety of the space. Morning Volunteers build connections with their community and create a positive way for our guests to start their day.

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Breakfast Crew

When: 6:15am-8:30am Sun-Fri; 6:45am-9:00am Sat

What would I be doing? Breakfast crew volunteers work in teams of 3-4 to make magic happen in our kitchen each morning. Breakfast volunteers prepare a simple hot breakfast, serve it to our guests, and clean up the kitchen. These meals provide guests with the nutrition and energy to start each day off right. Volunteers typically bring food they are cooking that morning. Some non-perishable supplies are available at ROOTS. This is a great opportunity for volunteer, business, or church groups.

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Friday Feast

When: Fridays; flexible hours between 1pm-8pm

What is Friday Feast and what would I be doing? Friday Feast is an all-ages meal program serving hot dinner to approximately 100-150 people every Friday at the ROOTS shelter location. Volunteers help with meal preparation between 1-5pm, serve dinner from 5:30-7pm, and clean up until 8pm. Volunteers under 18 may participate with adult supervision. If you are interested in bringing a group of volunteers please call us and we will work with you to schedule that.

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Administrative Volunteer (flexible hours)

Volunteers assist Executive and Program Directors with assorted administrative support tasks including collating applications and training materials, upkeep of supply storage areas, copying, filing, mailings, etc.

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Group Volunteer Projects (flexible hours)

Gather a group of people together and set up a time to come in and help with housekeeping around shelter. Tasks include: organizing clothing closet, sanitizing mats, cleaning and organizing the kitchen, sorting donations, and assembling bulk mailings. Volunteers under 18 may participate with adult supervision.

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Individualized Internships

Collaborate with ROOTS staff to develop a volunteer internship program for yourself to meet school requirements and get involved with different aspects of the organization that will benefit your personal and academic goals.

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