A new program aimed at helping homeless shelter volunteers and caregivers is expanding its reach and offering more opportunities to find work in the city.
The Phoenix Homeless Shelter volunteer program, which was launched this week, offers up to $1,500 in volunteer opportunities to eligible volunteers in Phoenix, according to its website.
The goal is to give volunteers opportunities to help out the city’s homeless, said Jason Ebeling, director of outreach at the Phoenix Shelter.
“Our volunteers have been doing a great job and they’re doing it because they love this city, and it’s a big reason why they stay here,” Ebelings said.
The volunteer program started with a group of about 60 volunteers who wanted to work in a homeless shelter and have the opportunity to work with the shelter’s human services department.
The volunteers were able to get into the shelter through a program called HSL-Hive, which uses data to identify volunteers with the right skills and experience.
The Phoenix Shelter has about 20 employees, said Ebelling.
“We have about 70 full-time volunteers,” Ebelling said.
“These volunteers are incredibly motivated, and they really want to do something positive in their community.”
A portion of the money goes to the Phoenix shelter and the other volunteers, and the rest goes to a scholarship fund that will be administered by the shelter.
Volunteers can apply online at the shelter website.
The money from the scholarship fund is used to pay for the cost of the training and the cost to train new volunteers, Ebelinging said.
Voluntary employment is not new in Phoenix.
About a decade ago, volunteers started looking for opportunities at the homeless shelter to help with shelter-related services.
The shelter is now the largest and most diverse shelter in Phoenix and offers more than 2,500 shelter-based volunteers, according the shelter program website.
About 80 volunteers from other Phoenix shelters have also been selected to join the volunteer program.
The program is now looking to expand and expand its reach.
The homeless shelter is one of more than 40 shelters across the Phoenix area, Ebellings said, adding that they are looking to hire more people to work at the new Phoenix Homeless Shelters.
The new program will continue to expand, and more volunteers are expected to be added.