day centres and hostels
Advice - How can I volunteer in a project for homeless people?
Working as volunteer at a service for homeless people can be very rewarding and there are a variety of things you can do (such as welcoming, talking and listening to clients, serving food, driving, skills sharing, administrative work or helping set up short term shelters). Services often need a surprising variety of skills so it is worth thinking a bit beforehand about what kind of skills you have and what you would enjoy doing. You may also want to check what training and support services give to volunteers.
Homeless UK and volunteering
Many services for homeless people welcome support from volunteers and have a range of volunteering opportunities available. We are researching information for Homeless UK about volunteering in hostels, day centres and advice services for homeless people.
You can find local projects that employ volunteers or have volunteering opportunities by using Search all services – simply type “volunteer” in the Text box, select "Homeless people" from the Person options and select from the Area options.
Here are some other ways you can make contact with agencies that want volunteers:
- Use the do-it! website (one of the volunteering options you can search on is "Homeless and housing") or one of the national volunteering sites to find general information about volunteering, details of your nearest volunteer bureau or details of available volunteering opportunities: Volunteering England, Volunteering Wales, Volunteer Development Agency Northern Ireland, Volunteer Development Scotland.
- Many homelessness organisations have information about volunteering in their services on their websites. Homeless UK lists key service provider's websites.
- Crisis set up their Open Christmas for a week every year in London, Edinburgh and Newcastle so contact them via their website for details of how you can help. In many other areas, church or other groups set up temporary night shelters during the winter. Look out for information locally or contact your local volunteer bureau.
- The attached Volunteering booklet also gives further information about volunteering opportunities in homeless services in London.