I can’t speak for the other shelters, but in my own operation (check out here for what that is) we are needing folk to commit to sleeping overnight when the church winter night shelter is running (in our case the time slot in question is overnight Friday December 1st – Saturday December 2nd (2130 – 0700) and for the following 16 Friday / Saturdays). We are one of seven shelters, each taking place one night in the week. Historically, and this season is not exception, every shelter has struggled most in filling the overnight sleeper slots.
It doesn’t require too much imagination to come up with reasons why this is, for after all it is the most unsocial time period to be volunteering, but if we are going to offer a service to the twenty guests (typically 4: 1 men: women) who are wanting to sleep in our shelters, who would likely be otherwise sleeping on the streets, then we need volunteers to stay overnight. Usually, there is not too much to do other than helping guests to settle (lights out by 2300) and then help when they wake up (0630). Often it is possible to sleep for part of the time. Sometimes though things don’t quite go to plan, and it is at those times we need volunteers on hand to help.
We need team leaders and helpers to volunteer their services. Typically we have 2 men and 1 lady sleeping overnight (4 would be ideal). If that is something you are interested in doing then please contact me. I am responsible for managing the Friday / Saturday operation at Ferndale Church, but I can put you in contact with those managing the other shelters, some of who are also looking for overnight volunteers. I should add: while we are a church operation, religion doesn’t come into it; but practical service does, as well as a willing heart to provide hospitality for our homeless guests.