Volunteer

Volunteer!

Our commitment to serving the homeless is comprehensive and determined. JOURNEYS’ employees are assisted by a pool of 2,500 volunteers who put in over 75,000 hours a year at the HOPE Center and PADS sites.

Volunteer Orientation
Since 2009, JOURNEYS has conducted mandatory orientations for all new volunteers. The two-hour orientations focus on the agency’s organizational structure; how to interact with the homeless; and on general volunteer opportunities at the PADS Shelter Sites, HOPE Center, and Development Department Administrative Offices. Once you have completed a Volunteer Orientation, you will be invited to sign up for specific volunteer opportunities with the HOPE Center, Development Department, or PADS Shelter sites, as they become available.

2013/14 Orientation Schedule

Wednesday, September 4 at 6:30 PM
Tuesday, September 10 at 6:30 PM
Saturday, September 21 at 10:00 AM
Wednesday, September 25 at 6:30 PM
Tuesday, October 1 at 6:30 PM
Wednesday, October 9 at 6:30 PM
Saturday, October 19 at 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 22 at 6:30 PM
Wednesday, November 6 at 6:30 PM
Saturday, November 16 at 10:00 AM
Tuesday, November 26 at 6:30 PM
Tuesday, December 3 at 6:30 PM
Saturday, December 14 at 10:00 AM
Wednesday, January 8 at 6:30 PM
Saturday, January 18 at 10:00 AM
Thursday, February 6 at 6:30 PM
Saturday, February 15 at 10:00 AM
Tuesday, February 25 at 6:30 PM

Volunteer Orientations are held at the JOURNEYS’ office located at 1140 E. Northwest Highway in Palatine.

Thank you so much for your interest and offer of help!

HOPE Day Center
The HOPE Center is a day resource center that provides free services to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. The HOPE Center offers case management, vocational counseling, mental health counseling, and supportive housing counseling, as well as referrals to pro-bono doctors, dentists, lawyers, and state and federal entitlements. Additional HOPE Center services include a food pantry, hot meals, a clothing closet, laundry and shower facilities, access to voice mail and a mailbox, and transportation services to medical appointments and job interviews. A Family Nurse Practitioner offers free healthcare every week, including free prescriptions for homeless, uninsured clients. In our recent operating year, The HOPE Center provided 26,457 various services to 1,136 individuals. The number of people served by the HOPE Center has grown each year since we first addressed the needs of 250 people in need in 2001-2002.

HOPE Center Volunteer Opportunities
Various shifts available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Volunteers under 18 years of age are accepted only if they are accompanied/supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.

  • Front desk coordinators (intake clients/retrieve files/answer phones)
  • Kitchen coordinators (heat/serve/plan meals)
  • Clothing closet coordinators (sort/organize/shelve clothing)
  • Food pantry coordinators (stock and organize shelves/assure levels)
  • Volunteer coordinators (coordinate schedules/tasks and train volunteers)
  • Community ambassadors (present Journeys at fairs, community events)

PADS Shelter Program
The goal of the PADS Emergency Shelter Program is to provide hospitality, food, and overnight emergency shelter to the homeless between October 1 and April 30, seven days a week (including holidays). The sites are staffed entirely by volunteers who prepare, supervise, and clean sleeping accommodations, along with preparing and serving dinner, breakfast, and a sack lunch. An average of 75 guests stay at PADS sites each night, and it takes nearly 25 volunteers per site to support their needs.

PADS Shelter Program Volunteer Opportunities
The shelter sites are open seven days a week, from October 1 through April 30. Volunteers are especially needed for the 11:00 pm – 3:00 am and 3:00 am – 7:00 am shifts. Youth volunteers must be at least a junior/senior in high school and will be supervised at all times.

Setup Shift site specific (begins 6:00 pm)

  • Ready sleeping area (set up pads, linens, receive food donations)
  • Set up facility, prepare serving area and registration desk, monitor parking lot(s)
  • Set up dining area

First Shift (6:30 pm – 11:00 pm)

  • Provide food as assigned and prepared by volunteers
  • Register guests
  • Assist with serving dinner
  • Make guests feel welcome
  • Monitor all areas and secure doors at 9:00 pm (trips to car and smoking breaks must be accompanied by male volunteer)

Second Shift (11:00 pm – 3:00 am – male/female team required)

  •  Maintain intake desk
  • Admit approved late arrivals
  • Prepare lunches (site specific)
  • Monitor all site areas hourly

Third Shift (3:00 am – 7:00 am – male/female team required)

  • Maintain intake desk
  • Admit approved late arrivals
  • Awaken guests
  • Prepare and serve breakfast

Cleanup Shift (6:00 am – 7:00 am)

  • Wipe down/put away mattresses, pillows, tables, chairs
  • Mop or vacuum floors
  • Clean restrooms
  • Empty trashcans
  • Put away toiletries and clothing

Development Department
The Development Department is located in the HOPE Center which is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Volunteers are needed to meet a variety of needs:

  • Data entry | Database or data entry experience required. Ongoing.
  • Mailings | Process bulk mailings. These projects occur every 2-3 months and require about 2-4 hours to complete the task.
  • Fundraising events | Volunteers are needed to assist with pre-event preparation and onsite coordination such as setup, registration, raffles, and cleanup.