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The Homeless Gazette
Currently, we are in need of registered nurses to work in our medical clinic, van drivers, and a regular volunteer on Wednesdays to act as our Greeter/Check in person. Must be able to use a computer.
If you are interested in volunteering, please email the Day Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supplies/Pantry Coordinator: Melinda Becker (
Pantry, Clothing & Supplies
• Keep in mind we are feeding about 50 - 70 people, who eat large servings of everything. They eat twice while they are at the Center so that’s 100 - 140 meals. On most days, that means each church should bring at least 60 hearty servings.
We have an odd day that is lighter, but we cannot predict when that will be.
• Please bring the meals ready to serve, preferably in 11x9, 11x15, 11x19 aluminum foil pans for reheating over Sterno chafing racks.
• Please arrive one half hour before your shift. Try to serve within ½ hour after opening, or sooner. Folks are really hungry when they arrive. Ask our friends to wait outside the kitchen until the announcement that dinner/brunch is ready.
• 2 - 3 people are needed in the kitchen to set up and serve. (See below)
Monday - volunteer hours 1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday 2:30 p.m. – 7:00 p,m.
Provide one dish from each column
cooked, not crunchy
cut and ready to serve
Casseroles combing protein,
starch and vegetables
Mac and cheese
Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Provide a lunch per the menu above or brunch per the menu below
Fruit (90), soft
Casseroles combining protein,
Pans of toast
Please provide with all meals
Checklist for Kitchen and Meal Preparers
_ Heavy paper/plastic dinner plate-as needed. Please check with the volunteer coordinator for current meal service supply list.
_ Small dessert plates, if needed for your dessert service.
_ Bowls for salad, fruit, dessert if needed for your meal service.
_ 100 Cold Drink Cups, 12 ounce minimum
_ 50 hot cups - 10 oz minimum
_ 300 Napkins
_Plastic Gloves, if you prefer
_2 gallons of milk - 2% or whole
_Ice – 2 10 lb. Bags
_Salad dressing or any condiments that would compliment your meal-as needed. Please check with the volunteer coordinator for current meal service supply list.
_Butter or margarine
Items needed and appreciated, if you have extra budget money
_Nondairy powdered coffee creamer
_4lb bags of sugar
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Job Description - Kitchen help (2 - 4 people)
All food must be hot and ready to serve when you arrive. You may use the oven to hold the temperature of your food
Entrees and side dishes should be put on the table in front of the refrigerator. Warming racks and aluminum pans are available to keep food warm on the top shelf of the wire rack. Make sure you put water in the large pan sitting over the Sterno before you light the Sterno.
Desserts or other self-serve items should be placed on the table with the coffee pot.
Please check both refrigerators for open drink jugs or pitchers of tea or lemonade to be used first. Please check the dates on all milk to be sure to use the milk that expires the soonest first. If needed, mix lemonade and tea. There are pitchers on the wire rack with the paper goods. Leave milk in gallon jugs on ice.
Each dining table should be set with salt and pepper, one bottle of hot sauce, and a bottle of ketchup. There are four dining tables.
Set a stack of plates at the start of the service line, refill small flatware bins at the end of the service line from the large, red marked bins, fill napkin basket from the inventory in the white cabinet. Please use open packages first.
Please assist anyone that needs something from the refrigerator. Our only concern is hygiene.
Station 2-3 volunteer servers behind the food table to serve full/reasonable portions to each person. (Doubling portions may jeopardize someone else's chance for a decent meal.)
a. If both churches bring food to complete one continuous meal for the 4 hour time span, do not give out seconds until the last hour and a half and only if you have plenty of food for the latecomers.
b. If you and your partner church serve in separate shifts and each church is bringing a separate meal, each of you may give out seconds 1/2 hour before your shift ends.
Most of our clients used to arrive at the beginning or midway through the day. Now, however, they come in continuously up until closing. So we need to make sure we save food for the latecomers. Our clients count on us being open for 4 hours.
If there is more food than we can use, volunteers may deliver the excess to Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center on Freetown Road or divide it up among their volunteers to take home. Only deliver full trays of food.
Please, do not leave leftover prepared food in the refrigerator at the Day Center.
Ask guests to put their plates in the trashcan when they finish eating.
Keep in mind that many are hungry and eat large portions, and most will eat twice while they are there. Please consider portions based on a hungry adult appetite. More food will be consumed in the first two hours than for the second shift, so keep this in mind as you plan. You may want to alternate schedules, or consider church size and resources as you work with your partner church.
WE ASK THAT YOU NOT GIVE CARRY OUTS OF THE PREPARED MEALS. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE GUESTS FOIL, PLASTIC WRAP, GROCERY BAGS, OR ANYTHING THAT WILL ENABLE THEM TO WRAP UP A PLATE TO TAKE OUT. WE HAVE DISCONTINUED CARRY OUT MEALS DUE TO HEALTH CONCERNS.
It is important to communicate with your partner church to coordinate food and volunteers.
Note: Use only one heating device (coffee pot or microwave) at a time to avoid overloading electrical circuits. The range and oven are on a separate circuit and can be used at any time.
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Greeter (1 – 2 people each day or each shift – can rotate)
Make sure everyone is greeted warmly who comes in the door and that you ask his or her name if you do not know it.
1. Briefly explain the services available at the Center - showers, limited laundry, hot meal, pantry and a case worker, and a nurse and/or doctor on most days.
2. Give the new person a welcome card and explain to them that they must sign up for showers and go in the order in which they are on the list.
3. If the person is not coming with someone and has never been to the Center, try to pair the new guest with a volunteer who can explain how the Center works. Another guest can also help to orient them.
4. Make sure everyone coming in signs in and signs up for a shower or laundry, if desired.
Shower and Laundry
Clients are allowed to sign up one load of laundry once a week. They can sign up ahead of time for laundry on the next open day. If no one new signs up, then someone may sign up for a second time during the week, but has to defer to anyone who has not done laundry at all during the given week. This is allowed only if the machines are standing empty and there is no one else waiting. It is important to make sure they go in turn unless the next person on the list cannot be found and chooses to give up his/her spot.
If a person passes on doing laundry, please mark pass next to their name, so they will be allowed to do it later in the week.
1. Try to keep the shower list moving and remind guests going in to the showers that there are people waiting. Approximately 15 minutes per shower is reasonable. If there is no one waiting or the list is very short. You may allow each guest more time. Towards the end of each day, it's important to keep an eye on the number of guests on the shower list that ride the Day Center van. Try to encourage them to get in the shower in a timely fashion so that they will not miss the van or the opportunity to shower.
2. Check the names off on the list as they leave the showers or finish laundry.
3. Check the bathrooms after each person to make sure they have cleaned up after themselves.
4. If there is a long list for the men's showers and a short list for the women's shower, you may open the women's shower to men only after all women have showered and after the vans have come in from the mid run.
4. If there are disputes, help them work it through or ask for help from Melinda, Doug, or Joe.
5. You will be given a key to the storage cabinet in the hallway. There are hair clippers, deodorants, razors, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, etc. You will be given a key to the lock. Please get the requested items for the person and make sure persons requesting the shaver return it to you. Make sure to keep the cabinet locked between retrieval of items.
Do Not hand the key to the cabinet to a guest and allow unlimited access to supplies.
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Pantry, Clothing and Supplies (3-4 people each day or each shift)
Monitor and record food, supplies, clothing needs of guest on pantry cards and checklist sheet.
Sign in each guest. Ask them to spell their names if you are unsure.
Allow only two guests in the pantry at a time. One guest will be picking out food while the other will be picking out clothing. If there is a long line, be mindful about the amount of time each guest spends in the pantry
Help our clients look through and find what they need.
Each guest may take only one of each clothing item available per visit. Once their clothing allowance for the month has been satisfied, they may not take any more of that item. If you allow them to take more than their allowance, it will count towards their allowance for the next month.
Gently mentor guests on appropriate size. If guest takes an item that does not fit a
Reinforce message about respecting needs of others and taking only what they need or only the quantity posted.
Provide plastic bags for anyone who wants to take nonperishable food back to the camp.
Help to keep the shelves neat and in order.
To close the pantry, put all boxed or bagged food items in the plastic bin. Throw away or give away all Starbuck's pastries. Wipe down the shelves. Set the trashcan outside the door. Straighten up all the clothing shelves. Return items to their correct locations on the shelves. Turn off the lights and lock the door.
Questions? Send email
to Supplies/Pantry Coordinator Melinda Becker (
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Towel Laundry (2-3 people each day)
We have many towels each day to be taken home and laundered. Someone needs to pick up, launder and return towels within a week.
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Transportation (4 - 6 people each day, or 2-4 people each shift)
Pick-up and deliver clients from the bus stop on Assateague Rd in Jessup just south of 175 and east of Rt. 1, and the Laurel Roller Skating Center on Brewers Ct just south of Whiskey Bottom Road in north Laurel and the Columbia mall. You may drive your own car, or be a driver for the Grassroots van. See schedule below. You could take one shift or multiple shifts on any day.
opening pickup Jessup
opening pickup North Laurel
opening pickup Columbia
mid return & pickup Jessup
mid return & pickup North Laurel
return North Laurel
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