Volunteering for the Emergency Rotating Shelter
Week 1: January 3-13 (10 days, expecting 40 guests)
Week 2: February 10-17 (Expecting 40 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 or church. 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 Annual Community / Shelter Super Bowl Party below and where to find us below.
(See below for definitions and responsibilities of the roles in these signups)
Week 1 (January 3-13)
Week 2 (February 10-17)
Volunteer your time
- “Fun” Volunteers
- Overnight Volunteers
- Breakfast Helpers
- Transportation Volunteers
- 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. 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 we may need you to 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 (you might get to sleep later if you prefer and if there are breakfast helpers)
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.
This year the Harford County Hope for the Homeless Alliance may not be able to provide transportation. We could use some help getting people to and from the Edgewood bus stop in front of Walgreens. Providing transportation from 725 Trimble Road to Edgewood at 8 AM and back around 5 PM would be a huge help!
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 other volunteers, help direct both volunteers and resources, manage food, and track attendance. (Not all of those things will fall on you!). Please let us know in advance if you’re interested in this and we can make sure you get the training that you need.
We’re expecting 40 guests in the shelter, so ideally we’ll have enough food at each meal to feed 45-50 people (so you and our volunteers can eat with the guests). If feeding so many people is too daunting, feel free to team up with a friend or others. Bring Dinner- 5:45 PM, 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 11th 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!
Running the rotating shelter saves the county a lot of money, but some of that financial burden falls on the partner churches that host the shelter. If you would like to participate financially, you can help Joppatowne Christian Church with heating / water bills, and with extra money to purchase food that may not be provided by other volunteers throughout the weeks. Your donation will be tax-deductible.
Cash or check can be provided to Joppatowne Christian Church, just please let us know that you’d like the money to go toward the shelter.
Use your bank account at our ChurchTrac page. You’ll have to make a free account, but this will help us to keep track of where to send your tax receipts next year. The fee for using your bank account is $1.50 for the first time, but is only $0.25 for every online donation after that.
Give by card at paypal.me/joppatownecc . Make sure to use the “memo” to let us know it’s for the rotating shelter. (PayPal’s credit card fees for a non-profit are 1.99% + $0.49 per transaction).
The location for the rotating shelter in Joppatowne is at 725 Trimble Road. In order to find the shelter, turn into the driveway and make a right at the fork. Check in 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!