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Volunteer training session January 10


Most of us do not have a lot of experience working with people who are homeless, so even though we may want to help, we may not be sure what that involves. If you have an interest in volunteering, there will be a training session on January 10, 2017. It will be at Community Bible Church, 69 East Third Street, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Below is a brief overview to answer some of the many questions about volunteering at the new Winona Warming Center.

• You do not need to be an expert. You are a volunteer and not a counselor. Although you will have some training on basic information, when in doubt there will be numbers to call.  

• There will never be more than 10 people using the center and you will never be alone. The center requires that at least two people be present at all times. 

• The biggest job is being welcoming and helping people get settled with a bed or something to drink or eat. Being friendly, compassionate and helpful.

• You are not there to ask them a lot of questions or to preach, but you can answer questions they may have and give them brochures or fill out a referral form if they request that.

• Guests will come in with a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. Volunteers are not there to judge them, but to treat them with dignity and respect.

• Some guests may struggle with mental illness, or drug or alcohol problems. As long as they are behaving well, they are all welcome into the center.

• Guests are not permitted to ask or accept rides or money from volunteers. If this or a behavior occurs there are protocols in place that will be reviewed at the time of training.

• The first shift involves taking in some information on new people through an intake form, going over the rules and having them sign an agreement. Volunteers will also lock up their bags.

• The second shift involves waking them up and helping them get their bags, bagging up their blankets and setting those aside for laundry.

• To become a volunteer, you must be over age 18, be willing to have a background check, and be willing to partake in trainings. Volunteers are expected to stay awake during their shifts.

• We ask volunteers to be familiar with the rules and information in the manual, and to enforce them according to the manual for the sake of consistency among out guests.

This is just a brief overview. For more information, contact Tom Parlin or Cynthia Dosier at  


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