Homeless Services United's member agencies offer a wide-range of services and therefore an equally wide-range of volunteer opportunities. Many agencies have programs for individual as well as groups of volunteers. Volunteer information on this page has been provided by each member agency. Please click on the agency name to view volunteer information. For more information about each agency, please visit their website. <---link to membership page w/websites.
Individuals: Project Hospitality is always looking for committed people to join our dedicated team of community volunteers. Community volunteers represent all adult age groups (16 and older) and ethnic backgrounds. Volunteers may assist with meal preparation, service, and clean up in the soup kitchen; take clients shopping in the food pantry; tutor, assist with recreational activities, and take care of children in the homeless family shelter; help with the meal and clothing pantry services in our homeless drop-in center; serve our Wednesday evening Positive Living Dinner for Staten Island's HIV+ community; assist with planning and implementing community and fundraising events; or provide clerical help to our program and administrative offices.
Community volunteer positions are available mostly during weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. For soup kitchen, food pantry, and drop-in center volunteers, we are looking for a minimum commitment of 2 hours per month. For volunteer opportunities in our homeless family shelter, we ask for a 1 1/2 hours minimum commitment one day a week. Volunteers with special talents can create an activity of their own to conduct (e.g. leading a writing or art group or teaching ESL).
Groups: Community groups of all of types can help support Project Hospitality's programs. High school groups, scout groups, church youth groups, adult groups, religious groups, senior citizen groups, and civic or corporate groups can partner with us in a variety of ways.
We need groups to prepare evening meals for the homeless men and women who use our drop-in center (this can be on an ongoing basis (e.g., once a month) or as a one-time event); prepare meals on Wednesday evenings for both our Positive Living Dinner and for El Centro de Hospitalidad, which serves immigrant day laborers and their families; serve food in the soup kitchen on either Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Group members should be available from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The ideal group size is 8, although smaller or larger groups (up to 20 people) can be accommodated. Help is most needed on non-holidays during the fall and winter seasons. Groups often arrange special events (e.g. a party or trip for children in one of our programs or a major clean-up or maintenance effort). Groups can come up with their own ideas as well (e.g. one local church grows a community garden for the food pantry).
Groups of Children: Getting children involved in community service at a young age is critical to teaching them the value of service to others. Even though our volunteer opportunities are mainly for older youth and adults, we encourage groups of children from upper elementary and middle schools to get involved. Children can run food drives, then deliver the items to the food pantry; children's groups can visit our food pantry and soup kitchen facility and hear about how Project Hospitality helps children just like them; make reading kits or collect new books, which they can bring to our family shelter to see where the items will be used; make decorations for various events, or come to sing at one of our sites
Faith in Action Groups: Each year, Project Hospitality welcomes nearly 30 high school, college, and adult groups from across the United States to our weeklong educational mission program.
These Faith in Action groups serve in the soup kitchen and food pantry; assist with cleaning, repair, and painting of agency buildings and clients' homes; prepare meals and help in the clothing pantry at our Outreach Center; help in the recreation program at the family shelter; lead our summer day camp program; assist in many ways at our emergency, transitional, and family shelters; meet and talk with people who have experienced homelessness, hunger, and disability; learn about homelessness, hunger, HIV/AIDS, and faith perspectives on poverty and justice through workshop sessions; experience the great social and cultural mosaic that makes New York City what it is through visits to different neighborhoods and to museums, theaters, and historic sites.
Groups typically arrive on a Sunday evening and leave the following Saturday morning. Most groups take one day off during the week to go sight-seeing. Meals and housing are provided. A donation of $100 per person is requested in order to help us cover costs. We occasionally have groups who cannot spend an entire week with us, but choose to work with us for 1, 2, or 3 days. To receive more information and a registration packet, please call the Reverend Will Nichols at (718) 448-1544, ext. 115, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Project Hospitality's website by clicking here.