Project Homeless Connect
Thank you for registering to volunteer at this summer’s Project Homeless Connect on Saturday, March 4, 2017at 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 March 4th. Please read the below information thoroughly. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please download the below documents:
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 you will be given an intake form to assist your client in completing. Click here to review this form prior to your volunteer shift on Saturday, March 4th.
Click here to download the parking pass for Project Homeless Connect. This pass will allow you to access the municipal parking deck which is located next to the Boutwell Auditorium. Please present this pass to the parking cashier upon entering the parking deck.
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, March 4th.
· 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 your small children with you; it will be very crowded and not suitable for kids.
Click here to download a parking pass for the municipal parking deck next to the Boutwell Auditorium. Free parking is also available on the street near the facility.
What Do I Wear?
· Please wear your Church/Agency T-shirt. If your agency or organization is not wearing specific apparel, please wear a red t-shirt. Wear comfortable pants or skirts and shoes (no heels please).
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).
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.