Sojourner House is an organization that was founded by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1976. Though we have experienced tremendous growth over the last 40+ years, we still rely on the generosity of those who choose to donate their time to our cause.
Volunteers are a group of individuals who are passionate about our cause and are committed to ending domestic and sexual violence in our communities. Though our needs vary throughout the year, we often are in need of dedicated, reliable individuals to provide administrative support and to answer our hotline.
For those unable to commit to regular shifts, we offer opportunities for collaboration with individuals, local businesses, and community organizations for skills-based training for our staff or clients, service projects, donation drives, and more throughout the year. For more information, please review the "Other Ways to Engage" options below.
For those looking for information on internship opportunities, please note we have recently moved that information to its own page, available here.
Regular Volunteer Positions
The spring volunteer season for individuals looking to work at our Safe House (emergency shelter) or Drop-In Center runs from January 22 (first session of volunteer/intern training) through early-May. We ask that volunteers commit to working a minimum of 4 hours per week, either at one of our Emergency Shelters (based in Northern Rhode Island or in Providence) or at our Drop-In Center in Providence, based on their position.
Due to the sensitive nature of our work, the following is required of all interns prior to the start of their service:
Be at least 18 years of age by the start of their service;
Provide a valid BCI (state background criminal investigation). Please visit the Attorney General's Office website for instructions (NOTE: Effective Monday July 23, 2018, BCIs must be obtained at the new Attorney Generals office; 4 Howard Ave Cranston RI);
Attend our 15-hour, multi-session volunteer and intern training (offered three times per year).
Full participation in our 15-hour, multi-session training is mandatory.
The training for the Spring 2019 will be held:
Tuesday, January 22, 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Thursday, January 24, 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Saturday, January 26, 9am – 4pm
Applicants who cannot attend the training will not be considered.
Applications are accepted for each season on a rolling basis. Please keep in mind when listing your availability that our Emergency Shelters are open 7-days a week, 8am-10pm and our Drop-In Center is open Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.
Spring 2019 Volunteer Opportunities:
click to view descriptions
+ Hotline Advocates
Volunteer Hotline Advocates are based out of our Safe House in Northern Rhode Island and are primarily responsible for answering the helpline (e.g. providing crisis intervention, emotional support, and referral information to clients), providing temporary guests of the shelter with support and assistance, helping with data collection/entry and file maintenance, and other duties as needed. Ultimately, these individuals are responsible for helping create an atmosphere of advocacy where guests are able to heal and redirect their lives.
+ Drop-in Center Assistants
Volunteer Drop-In Center Assistance are based out of our Drop-In Center in Providence and are primarily be responsible for assisting with the daily operations of the office, answering the helpline (e.g. providing crisis intervention, emotional support, and referral information to clients, and fielding and directing professional inquiries), sorting through in-kind donations, welcoming clients and assisting with intake forms, helping with data collection/entry and file maintenance, and other duties as needed. Ultimately, these individuals will be responsible for helping create a warm and welcoming environment for clients and community members seeking Sojourner House's services.
+ Shelter Advocates
Volunteer Shelter Advocates are placed at one our emergency shelters - our Safe House in Northern Rhode Island, our Men's Space in Providence, and/or our THEIA shelter in Providence. These individuals help the residents fill out housing applications, work on action plans with clients, provide one-on-one advocacy and support, and assist with day-to-day maintenence of the space. These individuals must be able to maintain detailed client logs, comfortable with communicating via e-mail, and reliable.
+ Community Outreach Assistants
Volunteer Community Outreach Assistants represent the agency at outreach events (i.e. health fairs, community events, etc.) and help coordinate activities during February's Teen Dating Violence Prevention Awareness Month and October's Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a great opportunity for folks who want to regularly volunteer, but may not have consistent schedules for regular shift coverage.
Applications are accepted for each season on a rolling basis. Please apply prior to cutoff dates to be considered. Late applications will not be considered. Once your application has been submitted, please allow 2-3 business days for staff to review and respond.
Application Cutoff Dates:
Summer: April 30
Fall: August 30
Spring: December 15
Other Ways to Engage
+ Volunteer together
Sojourner House can accommodate groups of volunteers interested in helping with specific events or special projects such as yard work or building maintenance. We welcome corporate groups, classes, faith groups, as well as school organizations and clubs with appropriate advance notice. Groups that can provide their own materials (cleaning supplies, tools, etc.) are especially helpful!
For more information, please contact Kelsey Tabela-Baxter, Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com or 401-861-6191 x 114. To help us decide if your group is a good fit for our current needs, please be sure to include:
- The size of your group
- The number of hours you are looking to volunteer (e.g. half a day, full day, a few hours, etc.)
- The date you were looking to volunteer and whether this date is flexible.
- The type of project you have in mind
- Whether there are any restrictions to the tasks your group can do.
+ Host a donation drive
We rely almost entirely on donations to keep our Safe House and our Transitional Housing apartments furnished, stocked, and comfortable. Consider hosting a donation drive at your workplace, school, or faith community to collect some of these much-needed items. We are always in need of:
- Gift cards to places like Stop & Shop, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, etc. enable our clients to purchase items we may not be able to provide to them, and gives them the freedom and autonomy to make decisions around what items they use for their family.
- Cleaning supplies. With all of our different residential programs, we in constant need of cleaning supplies for general maintenence as well as for deep cleanings when clients move in and out of our programs.
- Bed Linens. As clients move in and out of our shelter and apartments, we are often in need for NEW twin-sized sheets, blankets, and pillows.
Please note: due to the bed bug epidemic at shelters across the state, we are unable to accept any used bedding.
- Towels. Often clients arrive to our shelter with nothing more than a garbage bag containing clothes and other necessities. There are few comforts that make someone feel home than a set of fresh (new) towels.
Please note: for sanitary reasons, we are unable to accept any used towels.
- RIPTIKS. Many of our clients rely on public transportation to get around. This includes those in our residential programs in Northern Rhode Island who need to access our Drop-In Center in Providence on a regular basis.
+ Join an event committee
We are always looking for dynamic individuals to help us plan some of our most anticipated fundraising events, such as our Masquerade Ball or Spring Campaign! This is a great opportunity for folks who are looking to get their feet wet with event planning, add skills to their resume and/or to volunteer with an organization that makes an incredible impact on families and individuals in Rhode Island.
For more information, please contact Kelsey Tabela-Baxter, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-861-6191 x114.
+ Provide a workshop/skills-based training to clients or staff
We welcome local professionals who want to share their talents and expertise with our clients and/or staff.
We encourage you to contact Kelsey Tabela-Baxter, Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com or 401-861-6191 x114 if you have a workshop or skills-based training that you believe would be beneficial. Please note: we often need a month's leadtime to ensure a good turnout.
+ Use us as an excuse to celebrate!
Many of our supporters enjoy planning and managing their own special event to raise money for Sojourner House. Host a cocktail party at your home where you encourage your guests to make a donation to Sojourner House, or consider asking friends to donate to us in lieu of gifts for your next birthday. There are many easy and fun ways to give that make a huge impact!
For more information and assistance, please contact Kelsey Tabela-Baxter, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401-861-6191.
+ Help welcome our clients home
Help a family or individual turn their new apartment into a home by putting together a Welcome Home Kit. These kits are laundry baskets filled with all the household necessities clients need to feel comfortable in their new housing. The contents of Welcome Home Kits vary according to the individual needs of the household, but commonly included items include:
- Dishes and utensils
- Cleaning supplies
- Laundry supplies
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Shower curtains
- Towels (new only)
- Kids’ pajamas (new only)
- Dish soap
- Pillows (new only)
+ Share our mission and stay involved
Sign up for our email list and receive updates about new programs, events, and volunteer opportunities. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share our mission with your friends and family!