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7 Ways You Can Volunteer To Help The Homeless

Posted By Mia Naylor, Guest Blogger, August 29, 2016
Updated: August 26, 2016

Volunteer to Help the Homeless

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

 

When you imagine volunteering to help the homeless, you might think of helping prepare food in a soup kitchen or sorting clothing donations at a shelter. While it is true that these tasks are the more traditional volunteer opportunities, there are a variety of other ways you can volunteer to help the homeless and contribute meaningfully to create a safe and positive space for all of the members of your community.

 

 

 

 

Mentoring  

1. Volunteer as a mentor

Many organizations seek volunteers to act as mentors for youth in their facilities. Mentors are positive adult role models who guide youth on school, career exploration, personal development, and goal setting. This volunteer role will most likely have a more rigorous application and screening process and will require dedication of time and commitment. Being a mentor to a youth not only contributes positively to your community, but is often a mutually beneficial experience. As a mentor, you would create a meaningful relationship, gain self-esteem, improve supervisory skills, and have the opportunity to connect with other volunteers.

 

Interested? Try reaching out to these organizations:

Yonge Street Mission: 416-929-9614

The Redwood: 416-533-9372, extension 233

 

Administrative Assisant 

2. Volunteer as an administrative assistant

Just as much as organizations working to reduce homelessness need volunteer support on the floor, they also need volunteers to help keep the office running smoothly. Administrative duties could include providing front desk support (greeting guests, answering phones), sorting mail, or data entry. If you could provide administrative support, many shelters would be highly appreciative of you donating your skills and time.
 

Interested? Try reaching out to these organizations:

Yonge Street Mission: 416-929-9614

The Redwood416-533-9372, extension 233

St. John the Compassionate Mission: 416-466-1357

 


Tutor 

3. Volunteer as a tutor

A variety of organizations who are focused on homelessness look for volunteers to provide tutoring assistance with secondary school or post-secondary schooling for the people who use their facilities. The level of tutoring that is needed will vary from shelter to shelter and could include assisting children in elementary school, youth in high school, or other residents in college or university. If you have a passion for learning and enjoy sharing your knowledge, volunteering as a tutor might be a great fit!


Interested? Try reaching out to these organizations:
 

The Redwood416-533-9372, extension 233

Youth Without Shelter: 416-748-0110

 

 

Appointment Escort 

4. Volunteer as an appointment escort

Providing appointment escorts is a service many organizations may offer. This service relies on volunteers to accompany guests to and from a variety of appointments. This could include accompanying someone with a medical appointment, on a grocery trip, or to a dentist appointment. Acting as an escort allows you to assist residents with travel and also provides a friendly visit for residents.


Interested? Try reaching out to these organizations:

The Good Neighbour's Club: 416-366-5377, extension 242

WoodGreen Community Services: 416-645-6000


 

Special Events 

5. Volunteer at special events

Organizations focused on reducing homelessness may host special events at different times throughout the year and they will most likely need volunteers to help during these events. Some of the volunteer tasks at special events could include planning the event, setting up and tearing down the event, taking photographs during the event, or helping with event registration.


Interested? Try reaching out to these organizations:

Wychwood Open Door: wychwoodopendoor@gmail.com

St. John the Compassionate Mission: 416-466-1357

 

 

Gardening volunteer

 

6. Volunteer as a gardener

Homeless shelters and other centres may have grounds or gardens providing a pleasant green space for guests to relax in or a yard for children to play in. Volunteer your time by helping mow the lawn, plant vegetables, or rake leaves.


Interested? Try reaching out to these organizations:
 

St. Felix Centre: 416-203-1624

 

 

Professional services 

7. Volunteer your professional services

A variety of other programs that rely heavily on volunteer support may be offered. If you have a special skill you would like to donate, volunteer opportunities for people who can act as doctors, dental assistants, optometrists, nurses, technical support, dance instructors, music instructors, fitness instructors, hairdressers may be available.

 

 

How To Get Involved

If any of these opportunities sound interesting to you, please contact the organization directly to apply. There are many other organizations working to alleviate homelessness in Toronto that have not been mentioned here, who may welcome your volunteer assistance. If you have any in mind, we encourage you to contact them and offer your services.

Check out this video just released by OCAP. It is a brief look at the housing crisis in Toronto and the people it affects. 

For further volunteer opportunities or more information,email us at referral@volunteertoronto.ca or call 416-961-6888.

 

 

Attend any of our free information sessions on volunteering in Toronto!

Jessica Huynh

Mia is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, where she is studying Political Science and Ethics, Society & Law. She is interested in the reformation of our justice system and loves petting dogs. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags:  helping the homeless  Homeless in Toronto  How to volunteer to help the homeless  Toronto  Volunteer with the homeless 

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