Project Homeless Connect
Thank you for registering to volunteer at Project Homeless Connect on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Boutwell Auditorium in Downtown Birmingham. Your commitment to serve as a Smiling Face Client Guide at Project Homeless Connect is extremely valued and appreciated by the Homeless Community and the City of Birmingham.
As Project Homeless Connect draws near, we want to provide everyone who has signed up to volunteer with important information which will be vital in ensuring that you are well equipped to serve as a Smiling Faces Guide on the February 16th. Please read the information below thoroughly. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers of Project Homeless Connect may park in the Parking Deck next to the Boutwell Auditorium FREE of charge. You do not need a ticket or voucher to park in the deck. Parking is also available on the street near the facility. Parking is available along the streets surrounding the Boutwell. Carpool if you can with family & friends.
Please download the documents below:
For more information about Project Homeless Connect and your role as a Smiling Face Client Guide, click here to download the volunteer orientation guide.
Forgot what time you agreed to volunteer at Project Homeless Connect? Click here to download the volunteer schedule.
Want to know where the various agency services will be located during this year's Project Homeless Connect? Click here to download the site map.
During your shift as a Smiling Faces Client Guide your client will be given an Intake Form to complete. Click here to review this form prior to your volunteer shift on Saturday, February 16th.
Facts about Homeless Community
Here are some general facts which are important to know when serving the Homeless Community.
Homelessness is not the person's “fault.” They may have become homeless as a result of bad choices, but many factors, such as mental illness and disability, are beyond that person’s control.
Homelessness can happen to anyone.
Homeless individuals often lack the strong supportive networks, like friends and family, that many of us take for granted.
Use the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated.
Remember homelessness is what that person is going through currently, it’s an experience, not who they are.
"Day of" Volunteer Tips
Here are a few great housekeeping tips that will help you prepare for your volunteer experience on Saturday, February 16th.
Please be sure to check-in at the Volunteer Table (on the side of the building between the Boutwell and The Birmingham Museum of Art) upon arrival.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled shift begins to allow time for check in and assignment instructions.
Eat before you arrive. Lunch will be provided to clients and volunteers. Volunteers are encouraged to eat with their clients.
If you take medications, please take beforehand or bring with you.
We never know how many people experiencing homeless will show up the day of, so please be flexible
Those of you scheduled for the 11:30a.m. & 12:30p.m. shifts, may be reliefs for other volunteers that arrived earlier that morning
Please Do Not bring any children under the age of 18.
What Do I Wear?
Faith Chapel newly branded Teal or Black thsirts. If you do not have one, it is perfectly fine to wear a red top. Wear jeans or khaki bottoms. You will be standing for a long period of time, so please wear comfortable shoes. ( No Heels)
Approach the Homeless individual you are serving with open body language (no crossed arms, no hands in pockets as you may be perceived as concealing a weapon).
Do not touch, reach toward, or offer to shake hands with homeless individuals unless they offer to do so first (this could be perceived as an attack).
Establish comfortable boundaries (you don’t have to do anything that makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable).
Volunteer Do's and Don'ts
Do not give anyone any money.
Do not give out your personal home/cell numbers.
Do not promise/commit to anything outside of your duties of the day.
Do not bring your purse, tote bags, weapons inside the building.
Do not probe into their reasons of being in this homelessness state.
Refer all inquiries outside of your scope to the Information Desk.
Please stay with your guest at all times; if you need to leave, please escort your client to the Customer Service area to be paired with another volunteer.
If you recognize an individual from the Homeless Community, please be respectful and allow them to acknowledge you first, to minimize embarrassment.