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“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea what getting my own places for my daughter and me means. My new life begins today; without you, I would be hopeless. Thank you thank you!”

-Kaira, February 2011

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Volunteer Appreciation Month

Why We Do It

A special thanks in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month.

We talk a lot about community these days. You hear it in commercials, see it on billboards; it’s the buzz word of the moment, the sine qua non of any successful marketing effort. That sort of blunt and excessive usage, tied to everything and anything, I imagine offends most of us. It sullies the word, robs it of the unique relationship it has to meaning, to substance, to authenticity. If a car can build community, does that mean we can just buy our way to a better future, to a more inclusive and equitable society?

For those of us that disagree - that believe community is built one relationship at a time - volunteering is how we choose to build that future. Time and passion - there is no quantifiable equivalent, no monetary value we can assign to such a generous donation. And we don’t need to. Money and politics, power and influence… I doubt many of us would wish comparison or measurement in such terms. What matters is action. What counts is authenticity. Real value is found in the ether between people and purpose.

By now, after being with PHFS for six plus months, many of you are aware of my volunteering background. You know my passion for experiential learning - for service learning. If we haven’t met yet, I do hope we will. I want to meet you. I want to say thanks. Thanks for being here with me, with all of us. Thanks for helping PHFS build real community. One relationship at a time.

April was National Volunteer Appreciation month. I am proud to be a member of such a beautiful community.

See you around shelter,
Matt

 

Volunteer Orientations

The first step to volunteering with us is to attend a volunteer orientation. We offer three volunteer orientations each month for new and interested volunteers. While we don’t ask you to register for the orientations, we do request that you arrive on time. Volunteer orientations are a great opportunity to learn about family homelessness, meet a staff member, and see how our volunteer program supports families.

Shelter Orientation Options

Thirteen Salmon Family Center Orientations: (our day shelter)
Time: The first Monday of every month at 6:15pm
Location: Inside the First Unitarian Church
1010 SW 13th Ave.

More Information: The entrance to the shelter is located on SW 13th, on the corner of SW 13th and SW Salmon St. There is an A-frame sign that will point you to the correct door. The door will be locked, just ring the bell and you will be let in.

This orientation normally lasts about an hour. You will have the opportunity meet a staff member, learn about PHFS and our shelters, take a tour, talk about the different volunteer opportunities that we offer at Thirteen Salmon Family Center and get tips on volunteering with homeless families. By attending this orientation, you will be eligible to volunteer at the Thirteen Salmon Family Center.

Goose Hollow Family Shelter Orientations: (Our night shelter)
Time: The first Tuesday of every month at 5:00pm
Location: Inside the First United Methodist Church
1838 SW Jefferson St.

More Information: The entrance to the shelter is located off the parking lot behind the building. You will want to go through the parking lot until you see a playground structure. Enter the double doors to the right of the playground structure.  We meet in room 201. Here’s a map of our Goose Hollow shelter.

This orientation normally lasts about an hour. You will have the opportunity meet a staff member, learn about PHFS and our shelters, take a tour, talk about the different volunteer opportunities that we offer at the Goose and get tips on volunteering with homeless families. By attending this orientation, you will be eligible to volunteer at the Goose Hollow Family Shelter.

Dual Shelter Volunteer Orientations: (both shelters)
Time: The third Wednesday of every month at 5:00pm
Location: Beginning at the First United Methodist Church
1838 SW Jefferson St.
Ending at the Thirteen Salmon Family Center
1010 SW 13th

More Information: Walk in the footsteps of our families by doing this double orientation. Dress for the weather as we will visit both shelters by walking the 8 blocks each way between them during this orientation. If walking is not an option for you, you can also drive between the shelters and meet the rest of the group there. We will meet at the Goose Hollow Family Shelter. The shelter is located off the parking lot behind the First United Methodist Church building. You will want to go through the parking lot until you see a playground structure. Enter the double doors to the right of the playground structure.  We meet in room 201.

This orientation normally lasts about an hour and 45 minutes. You will have the opportunity meet a staff member, learn about PHFS and our shelters, take a tour, talk about the different volunteer opportunities that we offer at both of our shelters and get tips on volunteering with homeless families. This is an opportunity to experience the walk that our families take each morning as they transition from shelter to shelter. By attending this orientation, you will be eligible to volunteer at both of our shelters.

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations

We host monthly volunteer orientations at both of our shelters. For a list of current scheduled orientations look here!

Volunteer Rules

We ask that all volunteers adhere to the following rules. This list can also be found in our Volunteer Handbook.

  • A Volunteer should never be alone with a child that is a guest of PHFS. Two adults must always be in the room with a child at all times.
  • Volunteers should not discipline or punish any child that is a guest of PHFS.
  • Volunteers may not spend time with PHFS guests outside of the shelter without prior approval by the executive director.
  • Volunteers may not offer rides to guests or have guests in their homes without prior approval by the executive director.
  • Volunteers may not give money to guests.
  • Volunteers may not ask guests for money or personal items.
  • Volunteers should not take pictures or videos of guests without permission from the guest and a Staff member.
  • We expect our volunteers to dress in attire appropriate to and respectful of the position in which they are volunteering.
  • We expect our volunteers to exhibit professional behavior that is appropriate for children at all times.
  • Always contact us if you need to cancel less than five days before your shift, for whatever reason. If it is the day of your shift, please contact the shelter directly.

Volunteer Accounts

Current Volunteers

Log in to your PHFS account here.
If you are a current volunteer, with a user name and password, sign in above using the link.

Apply to Be a Volunteer!

The first step to volunteering with PHFS is to attend an orientation for the shelter at which you’d like to donate your time. We offer three orientations a month on an ongoing basis and are happy to arrange special accommodations for large groups that cannot attend one of these. You do not need to register to attend these orientations.

Thirteen Salmon Family Center (Day Shelter): 1st Monday/Month, 6:15pm - 7:15pm, at 1010 SW 13th Avenue
Goose Hollow Family Shelter (Night Shelter): 1st Tuesday/Month, 5:00pm - 6:00pm, at 1838 SW Jefferson (far end of the FUMC parking lot)
Dual Shelter (both shelters) Orientation: 3rd Wednesday/Month, 5:00pm - 7:00pm, begins at Goose Hollow and ends at 13 Salmon

In addition to attending an orientation, please also fill out our online Volunteer Application.

Do you already know you want to serve as an Overnight Host volunteer? Great! Please fill out this permission form too and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Have a question about supporting PHFS? Check out our FAQ here!

Staff and Board

PHFS Staff:

Brandi Tuck, Executive Director

Kurt Briggs-Ungerer, Program Director

Matthew Kertman, Volunteer and In-Kind Donations Coordinator (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

Emily Mrusko, Operations and Development Associate

Mary Babcock, Housing Placement and Retention Specialist

Carl Knudson, Housing Placement and Retention Specialist

Steven Kronzer, Shelter Coordinator

Jinine Ramirez Cortez, Shelter Coordinator

Samuel Freni-Rothschild, Shelter Coordinator

Whitney Church, On-Call Shelter Coordinator

Paul ter Brugge, On-Call Shelter Coordinator

Bess Miller, On-Call Shelter Coordinator

Michele Cover, On-Call Shelter Coordinator


To view our staff biographies, click here!

 

PHFS Board of Directors:

Phyllis Leonard, Board Chair

Geoff Tichenor, Vice Chair

Linda Craig, Treasurer

Robby Russell, Secretary

Sonja Connor

Evelyn Harry

Milele Hobbs

Matthew Webber

Joshua Stadtler

Goose Hollow Family Shelter Volunteer Opportunities

Goose Hollow Family Shelter is our evening shelter for families with children. The shelter operates each night from 6:30pm untill 7:30am. The capacity of the shelter is 24 people, or 8 families.  Each night, volunteers come to the shelter to help with a variety of projects and to spend time socializing with our families.  Read about our volunteer opportunities below.

When you arrive at Goose Hollow (for an orientation or your first volunteer shift), you’ll want to head to the Family Room. Please reference this handy-dandy map to help you find your way!

Before you can volunteer at the Goose Hollow Family Shelter you will need to attend one of our volunteer orientations.

To apply to become a volunteer or to sign up for a position go to our volunteer page

Thirteen Salmon Family Center Volunteer Opportunities

Thirteen Salmon Family Center is our daytime emergency shelter for families with children. 13 Salmon operates from 8:00am-6:00pm, seven days a week. The center serves the same families that stay with us at the Goose Hollow Family Shelter each evening, as well as families from the Family Winter Shelter and Common Cup shelter.

We offer the same volunteer positions at 13 Salmon each day, as well as varying special opportunities. Volunteering at 13 Salmon requires an open mind and a certain amount of flexibility. Because the shelter is a “drop-in center,”  staff are unable to know which families will be in shelter on any given day. As a result, you may volunteer when there are no guests at the shelter; other days, the shelter is bustling.

It’s good to remember that there are many tasks that need to be completed each day and that, even if there is no one at the shelter, we rely on our volunteers to help keep the shelter open, operating, and welcoming to guests.

Before you can volunteer at the Thirteen Salmon Family Center, please plan to attend one of our volunteer orientations and fill out our volunteer application online.

 

Portland Homeless Family Solutions     1838 S.W. Jefferson     Portland OR 97201     503.915.8306