Volunteer at OSH

Volunteer at Our Saviour's Housing

Ending homelessness can start with you!

Volunteers are vital to the work of OSH

365 days a year, dedicated groups and individuals serve meals in our Emergency Shelter, plan recreational activities, or help with the maintenance of our properties—and so much more!  Each year, over 1500 volunteers contribute nearly 13,000 hours of their time, energy, and talent. As a result, 600 people experiencing homelessness receive dignified shelter, support, and the chance to start over.

Join us and you will walk with our residents as they journey towards health, healing, and self-sufficiency. We have a wide spectrum of opportunities and will work with you to find the best fit for your skills, interests, and availability.

Who volunteers at OSH and why?

OSH volunteers come with diverse gifts, backgrounds, and experiences and volunteer for the following reasons:

– Desire to make a tangible impact in the lives of those experiencing homelessness
– Passion for housing and urban issues
– Opportunity to gain experience in a future career or to just try something new
– New friends and a fun, vibrant community

The list could go on and on, but don’t take our word for it. We’re happy to put you in contact with one of our current volunteers to give you the inside scoop on volunteering at OSH.

Is our emergency shelter safe and family friendly?

We have a very safe and secure facility.

Staff, residents, and volunteers all strive to maintain a sense of community and respect. Visitors are always pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome and friendliness of our residents. Our shelter is a “high expectations” program where we prohibit profane or disrespectful language and other disruptive behavior.

Our building also has controlled entry and indoor and outdoor security cameras. We have a parking lot right next to the building for volunteers’ use. Staff are always present any time volunteers and/or residents are onsite.

Volunteer Opportunities for Individuals


Evening Shelter Aide:

Help provide hospitality and hope to 40 homeless adults by volunteering at Our Saviour’s Housing Emergency Shelter. You will assist with a variety of tasks to help us keep the shelter comfortable and running smoothly such as:

– visiting with residents
– assisting with volunteer groups serving dinner
– answering the door and phone
– doing laundry
– light cleaning
– working on clerical tasks
– other assorted activities

We are seeking volunteers who are reliable, compassionate, friendly, self-directed, and flexible. By working closely with shelter staff and residents, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of homelessness and the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing something meaningful to help. No experience or background in social services required. Staff provides the orientation and on the job training and support that you need to be successful in your volunteer role.


– Must be at least 18 years of age
– Must pass a criminal background check (prior criminal offenses will not automatically disqualify you from volunteering)
– Be able to make a regular time commitment for at least 6 months.


– Friday, Saturday or Sunday
​​- Every week ​or every other week
– 5:30 – 8:30​pm or 6:00 – 9:00pm
– 3 hour shifts available


Daytime Shelter Receptionist:

Although the shelter is closed during the day, a number of people visit the shelter during the day for a variety of reasons. We are in need of a volunteer to perform the following tasks:

– Answer the shelter door ​through OSH’s intercom system
– Greet and assist residents who need to check their mail or have questions
– Greet visitors and answer their questions
– Make copies of intake forms and other documents
– Keep lobby and front desk organized and clean
​- Perform other office duties as assigned


– Must be at least 18 years of age
– Must pass a criminal background check (prior criminal offenses will not automatically disqualify you from volunteering)
– Be able to make a regular time commitment for at least 4 months.


– Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday
​​- Every week preferably ​or every other week
– 9:30am – 1:30​pm
– 2 hour or 4 hour shifts available


Daytime Projects Volunteer:

– ​Sort and organize ​donations received at the shelter
– Maintain inventory sheet of donations at shelter and at other campus locations
– Communicate donation needs to volunteer coordinator
– Maintain organization and cleanliness of shelter kitchen and pantry
– Other duties to ensure the shelter is ready to host overnight residents


– Must be at least 18 years of age
– Must pass a criminal background check (prior criminal offenses will not automatically disqualify you from volunteering)
– Must be able to use stairs frequently and lift/carry up to 20 pounds.


– Monday – Friday
​​- Every week preferably ​or every other week
– Anytime between 9:30am – 4:30pm
– 2 – 4 hour shifts available

Host Bingo:

Try hosting Bingo in our shelter (best for 1-3 people). We provide the Bingo set; you provide 5-10 small prizes, such as treats, gift cards, socks, or hygiene items. Bingo is a fun way for our residents to relax and socialize in the evening. Or propose your own recreational activity!


We regularly work with students through social work and non-social work internships.

– All direct-service internships for social work majors are arranged directly through select schools. Please contact our Housing Program Director for more information.

– We occasionally offer internships in fund development, communications, volunteer management, and other fields. If you have an idea for a non-social work internship, contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

Volunteer Opportunities for Families or Groups


Providing Breakfast:

Groups of 3-8 people purchase, prepare, and serve breakfast for our 40 shelter residents. Breakfast is served from 7-7:45 am with clean-up done by the time the shelter closes at 8:30am. Prepare food onsite or at your own location – there is a kitchen on site and staff available to let you in as early as you want.

Providing Dinner:

Click here to sign up for available dates!

Groups of 4-10 people purchase, prepare and serve dinner at 7:00 pm for around 40 shelter residents. Prepare food onsite in our full kitchen or at your own location. The best part is sitting down to share a meal and stories with our residents.

Individuals or Groups are also more than welcome to monetarily sponsor a dinner for shelter residents. If you are looking for a meaningful way to help out but cooking for 40 people sounds pretty daunting, consider sponsoring a dinner for up to $200. We will use that sponsorship to cater a meal or sponsor a group who would like to cook but does not have the funds available. It is a win win for everyone!

Providing Sandwiches:

You can make the sandwiches at the shelter during the day or at your own location.

Providing Snack Packs:

Groups of all sizes provide Snack Packs for residents to take with them in the morning along with one or two sandwiches.


The following are great projects for both youth and adults. You can assemble the kits at your home, office, school, or place of worship and then deliver them to our shelter Monday-Friday between 9:30am-4:30pm. We welcome donations of any quantity. For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@oshousing.org or 612-872-4193 x2

Flu Free Kit

This time of year our residents our the most vulnerable to illness. You can help by providing them with the following items packed nicely into a quart size bag:

– Hand sanitizer
– Tissue packs
– Antibacterial wipes
– Vitamin-C packs
– Travel size ibuprofen or acetaminophen

Shelter Welcome Kit

It’s the little things that make a place feel more like home. When residents enter Our Saviour’s Housing homeless shelter, they don’t always own everything they need.

Provide new residents with:
– a new pillow,
– a twin size sheet set
– a bath towel
– a washcloth
– shower shoes (inexpensive flip flops for men and women)

Just pack them into individual bags and deliver them to our shelter! In addition to this kit each resident also receives a hygiene kit.

Laundry Kit

Laundry kits should contain:
– enough powdered laundry detergent in a plastic baggie for 2-3 washes or 2-3 detergent pods
– 2-3 dryer sheets
– travel-size bottle or packet of stain remover.

Just pack them into individual baggies and deliver them to our shelter!

Undergarment Essentials Kits

Each kit should include the following (all items should be new):

Men’s (greatest need):
– Boxers – any size welcome, most in need of L-XXL
– Socks
– Undershirt (such as Hanes) – any size welcome, most in need of L-XXL

– Underwear (any size welcome, most in need of M-XL)
– Socks
– Feminine hygiene products

Monthly Home Care Kits – Permanent Supportive Housing Program

Home Care Kits are needed every month to sustain our 100-110 clients in this program.

Home Care Kits include:
5-6  trash bags (13 gallon size)
1 roll of paper towel
6-8 rolls of toilet paper
1 bottle of dish soap (8oz. or larger)

Volunteer Opportunities for Both Individuals and Groups

Maintain OSH Properties

Help out with painting, cleaning, yard work or other tasks to maintain OSH properties. Throughout the year, we have needs for groups of many different sizes and ages.

Coordinate a Donation Drive

Gather items on your own, or organize a donation drive at your school, workplace, place of worship, or with a group of friends.

View our Wishlist!

Breakfast Drive:
With your help we can provide shelter residents with a filling breakfast each morning!

Breakfast items include:
– Cereal (biggest need)
– Creamy peanut butter
– Jelly or jam
– English muffins or bagels
– Cream cheese
– Nutritious breakfast bars
– Non-dairy creamer
– Coffee
– Sugar
– Disposable plates, bowls, utensils and napkins

We are happy to provide information or shelter tours (by appt.) to make this project more educational.

Consider supporting OSH with a financial gift or material donation.

If you would like to make a material donation of any kind please contact our Volunteer Coordinator in advance as space is limited. OSH does not accept clothing, food or children’s donations except those items listed on our Wish List.

Thank you for choosing to make a difference in the lives of our residents. We can’t wait to meet you!
To get started as an Individual Volunteer please fill out our Individual Volunteer Application.
To get started as a Group Volunteer please fill out our  Group Volunteer Application.
For questions or more information:
Tamara Patton
Volunteer Coordinator
612-872-4193 x2
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