Individual 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.
When: 8pm-11pm; any day of the week
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.
Dinner Meal Team
When: 7:30pm-11pm; any day of the week
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.
When: 8pm-8:30am Sat-Thurs; 8pm-9:30am Fri
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.
When: 6:45am-8:30am Sun-Fri; 7:15am-9:30am Sat
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.
When: Fridays; flexible hours between 12pm-8pm
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. Unlike other individual volunteer opportunities, Friday Feast volunteers are not required to attend orientation, make a 6-month commitment or fill out a volunteer application. If you would like to volunteer with Friday Feast simply show up on any Friday between 12pm and 8pm. If you are interested in bringing a group of volunteers please call us and we will work with you to schedule that.
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.
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.
Group Volunteer Opportunities
Group Volunteer Projects (flexible hours)
ROOTS regularly welcomes groups of up to 30 volunteers to perform one-time projects around the shelter space. Projects consist of helping us clean the shelter and organize shelter supplies. Exact projects are determined shortly before the group is scheduled, based on current needs. We are able to host volunteer groups for 3-hour shifts Tuesday-Thursday anytime between 10am and 6pm. This is a great volunteer opportunity for business and community groups.
When: 6:15am-8:30am Sun-Fri; 7:45am-9:30am Sat
Each breakfast group comes in 1-2 times per month, from 6:15am-8:30am, to prepare and serve food for our guests and cleanup afterwards. We ask breakfast volunteers to bring in their own food to prep. These meals provide guests with the nutrition and energy to start each day off right. For each breakfast shift we prefer groups of 4-7 volunteers. If you would like to create a breakfast group, your group would need to identify one point-person who would be our main point of contact for your group and present for each shift. Other members of the group could rotate in and out of shifts.