Beginning January 1st, 2017, First Presbyterian Church’s Fellowship Hall will be used as a temporary homeless shelter, a part of the emergency overflow shelter system in downtown Winston-Salem. Due to the dire need of overnight warmth and safety during this extreme winter weather, the city has commissioned emergency overflow shelters to be hosted in churches when there aren’t a sufficient number of beds in the city’s permanent shelters. After an encouraging experience hosting an overflow shelter this past year, we will again be hosting a shelter next January, February, and March! Below you’ll find descriptions of all of the volunteer positions involved in the Overflow Shelter.
Building relationships with people who I would never interact with on any basis was really really special to me…every night was a favorite memory.
Sign up to volunteer between January 1st-March 31st
Every night between January 1st and March 31st, we’ll need 8-10 volunteers to help the shelter run! Keep scrolling for more information about volunteering and volunteer roles this winter, but if you’re ready to sign yourself, your organization, your group, or your church up, click here or the button below to go our volunteer sign up page!
In December, we are offering a voluntary training where we will cover the basics of the Overflow Shelter. If you could not make the training, below is a comprehensive presentation that details the volunteer experience at the 1st Pres shelter. This would also be a great tool to use to train your own group in-house! Here’s a link to the presentation as well.
Ready to register for volunteer spots? Click the button! For more info, below is a brief description of the roles described in the presentation above.
Food for 25
Brings food for 25 to the 1st Pres Fellowship Hall at 7:45pm. Please plan to bring food and stay to serve! May bring a hot meal, but if you do so, please know you will not have access to the kitchen and therefore need to bring it hot and bring serving utensils. If you bring a hot meal, please prepare to stay and serve.
9:30pm – 6:30am
2 per night
Overnight volunteers arrive at 1st Pres Fellowship Hall at 9:00pm to stay overnight once guests are checked in. Each night there should be 2 overnight volunteers and they are expected to stay until 6:30, helping the guests check-out. During the night, one volunteer will stay awake with the monitor on duty and the volunteers can alternate shifts, utilizing a safe and separate room to get rest.
2-4 per night
Check-in volunteers arrive at 1st Pres Fellowship Hall at 7:30 and start preparing for check-in by pulling bins and laying out mats. They will assist with the check-in process as needed, but will also act as extra eyes and hands to ensure a welcoming and safe environment during the busy time when guests are being checked-in and eating.
Homeless Training Video
Many of our volunteers requested training on interacting with the homeless, so we’ve included this video as a part of our training. Please take time to watch the video before volunteering!
Homeless Resource Guide
There are many resources available to the homeless in our city, from financial and housing assistance, to free meals and pantry items, to help with finding jobs. All of these resources and their current contact info have been compiled in a document you can view and download here.