Frequently Asked Questions

If you are considering volunteering, here is some basic information to get you started.

Q: Can I volunteer as an individual or with a group?
A: Individuals or groups can volunteer for a single shift or for an entire night at the WHO.

Q: What is a shift versus a night?
A: The volunteer shelter hours are 6 pm to 9 am. We recommend shifts running in 4-hour intervals, but individuals can volunteer for as long as they like. If a group takes a night, they agree to cover all shifts from 6 pm to 9 am.

Q: What does a typical shift entail?
A: This depends on the shift that you select. Each shift comes with a list of duties and can be found on-site in our volunteer binder. An example shifts are as follows:

  • 6 pm to 10 pm – Welcome and check guests into shelter, staff hospitality room (food/drinks), prepare gym for guests (laying out mats and bedding) and visiting with guests. (Note: if there are activities such as crafts for kids, etc. it is most often on this shift). This tends to be the most popular shift and keeps volunteers busy.
  • 10 pm to 2 am – Prepare sack lunches for the next day, perimeter checks (guests are typically in bed by 9 pm)
  • 2 am to 6 am – Perimeter checks, prepare for continental breakfast
  • 6 am to 9 am – Wake guests, ensure guests put away bedding, service continental breakfast, say goodbye to guests and clean up

Q: How old do you have to be to volunteer?
A: In general, youth volunteers should be attending middle school or higher grades (there are exceptions, see below). Middle school-aged youth serve on the same shift as their parent(s). High school-aged youth serve on any shift with at least two other adults on shift. Minimum age exception is 9, provided the parent believes the child is ready for the experience and he/she serves side-by-side with the parent. Only high school student should be counted against the shift position. Any volunteer under 18 must fill out the WHO Policies and Agreement for Youth Volunteers.

Q: What do I do if I am interested in volunteering?
A: Contact the WHO Coordinator at 360-200-8757 or whoprogram@gmail.com and indicate if you are an individual or a group wanting to serve and the best way to contact you. The WHO Coordinator will contact you regarding which shift(s)/night(s) are available.

Q: Is there any paperwork that I need to complete?
A: Yes, everyone over the age of 18 requires a background check and confidentiality agreement to be signed. Background checks are required prior to your first shift. Confidentiality agreement are signed on site. Background check forms can be found by clicking here.




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