Volunteers are a vital part of Housing Forward. Join our volunteer team and use your skills, talents, and expertise to improve the lives of our neighbors experiencing housing crisis.
We work to match each individual or group to a volunteer job that matches their interests and talents. If you don’t see the perfect fit, we will work with you to create it.
Emergency Overnight Shelter
Volunteers are a key part of operating our emergency warming shelter for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. The volunteer opportunities for this shelter are:
- Evening Shelter Host: Volunteers help get set-up for the evening, greet the shelter guests as they arrive help them to set up their sleeping area, host dinner, and interact with clients until lights out;
- Overnight Attendant: Volunteers support staff in ensuring a safe experience for the shelter guests;
- Breakfast Host: Volunteers serve a light breakfast, help shelter guests exit and assist with light clean-up;
- Meal Provider: Volunteers donate a full hot dinner, and/or continental breakfast, and/or sack to-go lunches for 15 people.
To sign-up, click on the interactive calendar to the right. Additional job descriptions and volunteer requirements can be found on the calendar.
Interim Housing Program
We have a number of opportunities at our Interim Housing Program site, including:
- Breakfast, lunch or dinner host
- Breakfast aide
- Dinner aide
- Meal provider
- On-site assistant
A description of our current Interim Housing Program volunteer roles can be found on this interactive calendar.
What About the PADS Shelter?
Since it began in 1992, our PADS emergency shelter program provided overnight shelter to anyone in need of a place to sleep, seven days a week. It included 11 rotating sites in Berwyn, Forest Park, and Oak Park and four secondary sites designated for families.
In March, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic compelled us to suspend our emergency shelter services. We transitioned clients to safe, individual accommodations at area motels. There, clients received stable, socially-distanced housing and daily meals. Case management services were provided and medical needs were addressed onsite. That September, we leased an Oak Park hotel to create a new interim housing model where every client has a clear exit plan from the program to permanent housing.