Volunteer Info

(Fill this out AT THE OUTREACH LOCATION.)

(Fill this out BEFORE your volunteer experience.)

What To Expect

Volunteers have served with New York City Relief over 90,000 times!

Individuals and teams have come from all over America and even from around the world to serve the poor and homeless on the streets of New York City and New Jersey. Maybe it's time you gave it a try, but be warned, serving with us will change your life!

 

WHAT CAN I EXPECT OVERALL?

  • TO LOVE AND CARE FOR OTHERS: It may come in the form of serving soup, praying with someone, cleaning the space where we serve or in many other ways. Everything that we do is to show love and to be a vessel for life transformation.

  • TO WORK HARD: As a volunteer, you may assist with outreach preparation/clean up and serve on the street for 2 – 4 hours.

  • TO BE SUPPORTED: You will be thoroughly briefed before hitting the streets by an outreach team leader who will be with you throughout the outreach.

  • TO HAVE FUN: From a fun getting to know you game, to laughs with new friends or even singing on the street, your day will be filled with many moments of joy.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT EACH OUTREACH?

The Relief Bus:

These outreaches feature a custom bus with a built-in kitchen, office, and resource center. We drive the bus to 4 locations 5 times a week.

What you will be asked to do:

  1. PREPARE soup, drinks and complete other tasks necessary for the outreach (only if you meet at the Relief Base in NJ).

  2. WELCOME our guests and invite conversation over a shared meal!!

  3. SET UP tables & chairs to create an intentional space that welcomes guests.

  4. SERVE homemade soup, drinks & fresh bread.

  5. OFFER socks, hygiene kits and prayer.

  6. INVITE guests to the outreach. Sometimes we send out small groups of volunteers with supplies & flyers to let people know about The Relief Bus outreach

  7. CLEAN outreach and surrounding area. Clean containers and reset for the next outreach (only if you meet at the Relief Base in NJ).

  8. CONNECT guests to experienced staff members to have a LIFE CARE VISIT where deep struggles are shared, individualized action plans are developed, and hope is restored.

The Relief Co-Op:

These outreaches capitalize on existing direct service opportunities, as we send our staff and volunteers to those third-party locations and sync up our compassionate focus on long-term & follow-up care with the immediate care these services are providing.

What you will be asked to do:

  1. WELCOME our guests and invite conversation while they are eating or waiting for other services.

  2. SERVE food and beverages.

  3. ORGANIZE and restock the clothing closet. (Thursdays only)

  4. ASSIST guests with choosing clothing items. (Thursdays only)

  5. OFFER socks, hygiene kits and prayer.

  6. SETUP/RESET the room where we serve.

  7. CONNECT guests to experienced staff members to have a LIFE CARE VISIT where deep struggles are shared, individualized action plans are developed, and hope is restored.

 

FAQ

DO I NEED TO BE A CHRISTIAN TO SERVE WITH YOU?

No. We welcome volunteers from all walks of life and faith backgrounds to join us. Please be aware that as a Christian organization we will pray for the outreach and with our guests. We will also play some worship music as we travel to the outreach location. You do not have to participate during any times of prayer/worship and we ask if any guests ask you for prayer that you guide them to someone who can fulfill that request.

WHERE DO I PARK?

At The Relief Base in Elizabeth, NJ there is street parking available. If you meet us at the outreach location there may or may not be space to park near the bus. In all cases, please be sure you are obeying posted signs concerning parking rules. We are not responsible for any parking tickets you may receive or any damage to your vehicle.

WHERE CAN I LEAVE MY PERSONAL BELONGINGS?

If you are serving at one of The Relief Bus outreaches, we can store personal items in our vehicle, however it will not be locked. At the Relief Co-Ops there is a locked designated closet or room where you can store a few personal items. If you are meeting us at The Relief Base in Elizabeth, NJ you may also store items there. Where possible, please minimize the amount of personal belongings you carry with you. We are not responsible for volunteers' belongings.



DO YOU EVER CANCEL THE OUTREACH DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER?

Unless the bridges and tunnels are closed and there is no way for us to get to the outreach, we never cancel. If this unlikely event happens we will notify you as soon as possible. If you are worried about your safety and need to cancel, please contact us as soon as possible.



SHOULD I BRING FOOD WITH ME TO THE OUTREACH?

You are welcome to enjoy the soup, bread and drinks at a Relief Bus outreach. In fact, it is a great way to make a connection with one of our guests by sharing a meal with them. You may bring snacks for the bus ride, but we ask that you not bring in outside food during an outreach unless you have a medical reason to do so. If that is the case, please notify us ahead of time.

HOW SHOULD I DRESS?

Our outreaches take place outside on the street so please be sure to wear weather appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Please do not wear clothing with vulgar or explicit messages, clothes advertising drugs/alcohol or wear expensive clothes or jewelry. If you would like to avoid wearing a hair net in the kitchen, we recommend that you bring a hat.

WARMER MONTHS: Please wear modest clothing that covers you, i.e. longer shorts, t-shirts rather than thin tank tops.
WINTER: It gets cold & windy on the street and you will want a warm coat, layers, hats, gloves, boots, etc.

CAN I BRING DONATIONS?

Yes! For details about what to bring and how to package it, visit our donations page by clicking here.