How and Where to Volunteer to Help the Homeless
Published January 25, 2023
Volunteering is one of the best ways to help the homeless. Most organizations that help the homeless usually don’t have the funds to hire workers. As such, they rely on volunteers to get things done.
But how do you go about it? Where can you volunteer to help the homeless?
No worries. That’s what this blog is for. To help you get started on your volunteerism journey, here’s a quick guide on where and how to volunteer to help the homeless.
Where to Volunteer
Here are some of the places that help the homeless and usually accept volunteers:
1. Homeless Shelters
If you’re looking to help the homeless, this is the most obvious place to volunteer.
Homeless shelters offer temporary homes to homeless individuals and families. Most shelters offer both accommodation and food to their residents.
With this, there’s a wide range of work you can do as a homeless shelter volunteer. If you’re fond of interacting with people, you can serve food in the kitchen. Interested in crafts or construction? You can volunteer to beautify or repair things around the shelter too. You can even help out with some admin work if you prefer working in the office.
2. Soup Kitchen
Soup kitchens provide free and freshly-cooked meals not just to the homeless but to anyone who can’t afford to buy food. Some soup kitchens like Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen also provide other necessities like clothes and hygiene kits to their guests.
Like homeless shelters, soup kitchens are mostly staffed by volunteers. There are also a lot of volunteer tasks you can do, like cooking, serving food, cleaning, sorting the donations, and doing inventories, among others.
3. Domestic Abuse Shelters
Women who are victims of domestic abuse are often housed in domestic abuse shelters. Most of the time, they come with their children.
This is why volunteering in domestic abuse shelters can be a different experience than in other charitable organizations. Here you’ll be dealing with women, children, and even babies who are still reeling from a traumatic (and often violent) experience.
But volunteering in these places will also help you learn so much about life. You’ll hear stories of strength, courage, and resilience. You’ll learn to understand and empathize with others and learn more about yourself in the process.
4. Food Banks
Unlike other organizations on this list, do not help the homeless directly. Instead, distribute food to communities and hunger-relief charities like soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantries, and the like.
Like in other charities, there are also a lot of things you can do as a foodbank volunteer. You can help in collecting food donations, sorting and packing the food items, and delivering them to their intended recipients.
5. Emergency Response Programs
Disasters often leave a trail of destruction and a huge number of homeless people. That’s what emergency response programs are for. They provide emergency accommodation to people who lost their homes in natural and man-made disasters.
If you have disaster response training, this is the best place to volunteer. You can use your skills to help the victims. But even if you have no specialized skills whatsoever, there are still a lot of things you can do. You can help cook food, distribute food items and other basic necessities, or even administer basic first aid.
How to Volunteer
Now that you know some of your options, here’s how you can start volunteering in these places:
1. Choose a place you want to volunteer in
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is decide where you want to volunteer. Most of the charitable organizations mentioned above are located in local communities. So you can just drive around in your community, and you’ll surely find a place that needs volunteers like you.
2. Determine their volunteer needs
Each organization has different volunteer needs. Some may require volunteers with disaster response training, while others might need volunteers who have experience with babies.
So when you find a place you want to volunteer in, get in touch with them and ask what types of volunteers they accept.
3. Encourage others to volunteer
Being a volunteer can be a very satisfying and life-changing experience. So share that joy with others too. Encourage your family, friends, classmates, co-workers, and everyone you know to volunteer too. The more people will share their time, skills, and talents, the more difference we can make.
Donate To The Poor & Homeless Of South Florida
Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen has fed the poor and homeless in South Florida over 900,000 hot meals since 1993. Our tax deductible non profit organization also accepts and distributes donations such as clothing, toiletries, shoes, bicycles, and more. You can donate to help the poor and homeless through our website.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and devoted Christian. She has a passion for writing about topics related to morality and helping the poor and homeless. She is the lead author for the Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen blog.
Correct Digital, Inc is paid by private donors to provide website digital marketing services to this non-profit organization.