Volunteering for the Emergency Rotating Shelter
Week 1: January 27-February 3 (Expecting 40 guests)
Week 2: February 24-March 2 (Expecting 25 guests)
Every year Joppa/Joppatowne comes together to rally around Harford County Hope for the Homeless Alliance‘s efforts to host the Emergency Rotating Shelter. This is a community-wide project and not one that is hosted by a single entity. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Here are some ways you can be involved, especially in volunteering your time and volunteering to make meals. And there’s also some news about our 3rd Annual Community / Shelter Super Bowl Party below and where to find us below.
Volunteer your time
- “Fun” Volunteers
- Overnight Volunteers
- Breakfast Helpers
- Cleaning Crew
- Set up / Tear Down
- Administrative Volunteers
Make a Meal
Volunteer your time
Living without a home and having to move every week can be very stressful for our guests. Sometimes they feel sad and depressed at their lot in life. “Fun” volunteers help them feel like normal people. Willingness to watch movies / tv, play games, have a simple conversation can mean so much to our guests. You may also be asked to help serve meals if you happen to be there over meal time, but we’ll feed you too! 5-8 PM / 8-10 PM
We need at least one male and one female to spend each night at the shelter. We have an assortment of comfortable couches to sleep on. Generally you get to sleep through the night, but occasionally one of our security guards might request your help if one of the guests needs something. You may also be asked to help get bag lunches ready for the guests to take with them the next morning. 10 PM – 6 AM (might get to sleep later)
Are you an early riser? Someone who can make coffee and start putting out cereal and milk for breakfast really helps the morning routine of our guests. Ideally, someone who can come as early as 5:30 or 6 AM would be ideal for this.
Light cleaning is needed throughout the week. These volunteers can come at various times between 8 AM and 4 PM. We can discuss what you feel comfortable cleaning or not cleaning.
At the beginning of each week, we’re responsible for bringing our guests belongings into the shelter and preparing the site for them. At the end of each week there’s a big shift that needs to happen to return the shelter site back to normalcy to ensure other community groups can use it. This would involve things like stacking chairs, moving couches, and some light cleaning. Times vary for helping with this
This requires a bit of training and commitment, but if you’re willing, we’re willing to have you! Administrative volunteers help to make the shelter run, they administer medication to our guests, coordinate with security and volunteers, help direct volunteers and resources, manage food, track attendance. (Not all of those things will fall on you!). Please let us know if you’re interested in this and we can make sure you get the training that you need.
For our first week, we’re expecting 40 guests so we’re hoping to have 2 different volunteers make meals for about 25 (so you and our volunteers can eat with the guests). The second week volunteers who can make meals for about 25-30 would be great (but feel free to team up!). Bring Dinner- 5:45 PM, Bring Breakfast- 6:45 AM, Bring Lunch (Sunday)- 11:45 AM
Some of our guests work at their jobs and others are all over the county looking for jobs, housing, etc. It’s helpful for them to have a lunch to take with them. Bringing bagged lunches the night before to be handed out the following morning is very helpful! You can bring them any time, but 6:45 PM is suggested.
Here’s the dream: A Super Bowl party so packed and lively that our guests forget that they’re living in a homeless shelter and can just feel like guests invited to a party. If you don’t have Super Bowl plans, come down to the shelter on February 2nd and watch the game with us! Bring a dish to share and a fun spirit to watch the game OR if you hate football, hang out with the guests who also hate it. We might even put a TV up just for the people who like to watch the commercials!
In order to find the shelter, turn into our driveway and make a right at the fork. Check in with security at the middle door of the building.
- The shelter is located within the Joppatowne Christian Church building, but this is NOT a Joppatowne Christian Church event. This is a Joppatowne-wide event with multiple religious and secular groups involved. This requires the whole community #OneTowne together. Thank you as always for extending your time and help Joppatowne!