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Volunteer — Providing advocacy for homeless persons and families in the Ojai Valley area of Ventura County, California Ojai Valley Family Shelter


We always welcome a helping hand and have volunteer opportunities.

Shelter Volunteer Descriptions

Site Coordinators

  • Responsible for ensuring that the Shelter runs properly, including non-admission and/or ejection of guests.
  • Responsible for coordinating the recruitment of all volunteers:
    • Scheduling  weekly Overnight Host(s)
    • Appointing Site Food Coordinator(s)
    • Assigning weekly Intake and Screeners
    • Recruiting laundry volunteers
  • Interface with the Ojai Valley Family Shelter Management Team as needed.
  • Secure volunteer list from previous season and contact experienced volunteers.
  • Check to see that basic supplies are at the Shelter (see supply list)
  • Fill out Incident Report as needed and file it in the Traveling File.
  • Have authority to determine maximum census

Food Coordinators

  • Responsible for ensuring food providers for each week.
  • Contact food volunteers for the week and make sure the volunteers are aware of their commitments.
  • Answer any questions the food volunteers may have.
  • Plan on serving approximately 30 to 40 meals at night and up to 35 in the morning.
  • Preparation of meals can be either at home or at Sites, if facilities provide.
  • After serving the evening meal, clean up the dishes and the kitchen.
  • You will be advised if there is any change in the number of meals.  Please do not call the Shelter Hotline.  Call the Site Coordinator for additional information.
  • Direct any problems first to your Site Coordinator.
  • Remember to keep your tax-deductible receipts for the food you buy.  You are also entitled to deduct for volunteer mileage, if you keep a record.

Intake/Screening Volunteers

  • Commitment is about 2 hours per week plus one time training.
  • Work from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the site.
  • Screen guests for acceptance
  • Interview and record information on all guests as they arrive at the Shelter.
  • Have each guest sign Intake Form, Waiver and Shelter Rules during Initial Visit.
  • Check for TB screening
  • Evaluate each Guest to screen out those with substance abuse or severe mental health problems.  For those identified persons professional resources will be recommended as may be appropriate.
  • Screener must fill out an Incident Report on anyone to whom entrance is denied and bring it to the attention of the Site Coordinator or Shelter Administrator.
  • Hand out and be familiar with the alternative and supplemental private and public resources that are available to the homeless.  (See flyers)

Overnight Hosts

  • Commitment is about 10 hours per week. One host and hostess each week if possible.
  • Arrive at Site by 8:00 PM and sleep over night.
  • Close Shelter registration at 8:00 PM unless guest has made previous arrangements with Shelter Administrator or Site Coordinator.
  • Has authority to eject guests for reasonable cause, i.e., disruptive behavior, unwillingness to obey rules, etc.
  • Inform Site Coordinator and Shelter Administrator of any incidents, including non-admission and/or ejection of guests.
  • Fill out Incident Report as needed and file it in the Traveling File.
  • Coordinate serving morning breakfast and clean up
  • Return trailer keys to the designated location or to the Site Coordinator.

Laundry Volunteers

  • Commitment is about 1-1/2 hours per week (plus any reimbursable costs).
  • Gather towels and bedding (20-35).  Transport laundry and wash and dry it.
  • Return clean towels and bedding before the Site’s next scheduled evening.

Shower Utility Vehicle (SUV) Transportation

  • Commitment is about 1/1/2 hours per week.  Volunteer should be familiar where the SUV is being transported to because of hookups for that site.
  • Disconnect hook-ups, transport to next site and reconnects the SUV.

Shower Monitor

  • Commitment about 3 hours a week
  • Oversee and facilitate showers from 6:00PM to 8:00 PM or until there is no one waiting for a shower.
  • Provide guest with necessary toiletries
  • Monitor duration of shower (approximately 15 minutes) and remind guests to observe the posted shower rules.
  • Allow time for hot water to recover between guests.
  • Verify guests clean shower between each use with spray solution
  • Lock up the SUV for the night and return keys to the site host.
  • Place bag of wet towels outside the back door for Laundry Volunteers.

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