How Can I Help?

Thank you for your interest in volunteering. Do you want to spend your time doing something meaningful for someone less fortunate? Then our center could be the right place for you! Volunteers must be age 18+ and are required to complete a background check before working at The Beacon.

Guest Advocate
Team Leader
Computer Lab Assistant

YOU are the light of The Beacon!

Become a Beacon Volunteer

Center Greeter

We welcome volunteers who are passionate about helping restore hope to the homeless in Dane County by dedicating their time, energy, and skills. If you want to help those less fortunate and spend your time and talents doing something that can change lives, then The Beacon is for you! Apply here.

 
 

Do you want to improve the lives of the poorest people in your community? Are you able to volunteer your time on a weekly or monthly basis? Do you agree that all people deserve the dignity of a safe, clean and welcoming environment? Are you committed to helping restore hope to homeless men, women and families? Are you over the age of 18?

 
 

Apply here!
Contact Tami Fleming at 608-826-8022 or tfleming@ccmadison.org for more information.

 
 

We are seeking a diverse and committed citizen population for meaningful community service opportunities that empower volunteers to contribute their gifts and talents to serve those who are poor and vulnerable. Your efforts will help to build stronger, healthier individuals and a better community for everyone.

 
 

We are dedicated to recruiting from diverse populations and provide a positive volunteer experience that encourages sharing of skills and talents. Our goal is to create an extensive volunteer network and retain trained, committed volunteers. In addition, we hope to educate the community on homeless issues and solutions.

Volunteer Opportunities

Reports to: The Beacon Designated Staff, Volunteer Coordinator

Located:  Second Floor Volunteer Coordinator or The Beacon Director’s office

Skills Needed:

  • Patient, respectful, organized, and friendly
  • Office Experience
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Products
  • Comfortable posting on social media

Tasks Include:

  • Assist staff with record keeping, organizing, and other paperwork as necessary
  • Confirm volunteers via text or phone each week
  • Keep track of ancedotal information
  • Assist with monthly e-newsletter
  • Data entry
  • Design and collect surveys of volunteers, staff, and guests as directed

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator
  • Additional voluntary continuing training is available 3x monthly

Reports to: The Beacon Designated Staff, Volunteer Coordinator

Located:  First Floor Laundry Room (Hours for Laundry are 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ONLY)

Skills Needed:

  • Greet each guest with a friendly attitude
  • Open laundry at 8:00 a.m. and sign-in guests who want their laundry done in order of arrival
  • Give guests a numbered laundry bag (bags are numbered 1-30) in Laundry Registration area and fill with their laundry
  • Remind guests empty all pockets
  • Guests deliver numbered laundry bag filled with dirty laundry to laundry room volunteers over the half-door entry to the laundry room
  • Volunteers always wear rubber gloves while handling soiled laundry
  • Volunteers log each load of laundry onto a clipboard with name of guest and their laundry bag number
  • Two laundry room volunteers do the laundry. They wash, dry, loosely fold, and place a guest’s clean laundry in a clean plastic bag numbered with adhesive label matching the guest’s laundry bag number
  • Volunteers pick up their clean laundry at 1 p.m.
  • Volunteers keep laundry area tidy, swept and wiped clean every day. Including wiping down machines

Sewing and Mending Intake:

  • Volunteers also take items to be mended and fill out claim slip with guest, bag item to be mended (should be washed first) and staple carbon of claim slip to the bag and put on shelf for sewing/mending volunteers
  • Call the guest’s number when the repaired items are returned

Work Clothing Requests:

  • Volunteers take requests for specific work-related clothing items (i.e. black, non-slip shoes, size 10 Men’s, or Women’s steel-toed boots size 9, or white button down shirt, size XL Women’s) and give them to Volunteer Coordinator at end of shift
  • When items arrive, they are bagged and the request slip with the person’s name on it is stapled to the bag and put on claim shelf inside of laundry area until the person claims them
  • Items should always be new or like-new condition
  • Call the number on the slip to let them know their requested items are at The Beacon. If the items are there for more than a week, let the Volunteer Coordinator know
  • The Laundry cannot accept any donated items that are not a request for a specific person for work purposes

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator
  • OSHA BBP Training

 

Reports to: The Beacon Designated Staff, Volunteer Coordinator

Located:  First Floor in hallway by the shower area (showers open from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm)

Tasks Include:

  • Greet each guest with a friendly attitude
  • Register guests first-come first-served in the shower area for the 7 showers
  • Make sure guests understand shower limits/rules 20 minutes each (allow for 5-10 minutes of change over time, especially as the shower program is new)
  • Distribute fresh towels and personal hygiene kits to each guest that does not have their own
  • Collect, wash/dry/fold used towels each shift and wash after 1 p.m. in Laundry area (after guest laundry is closed)
  • Keep track of shower end and start times so people don’t have to wait too long for their turn, but allocate more time for people who have mobility issues, are elderly, or look like it’s been a long time since they have had the opportunity to shower
  • If guest goes over their time, gently knock on the door and call them by their first name to let them know, in friendly voice, that their time is up and ask if they are OK
  • Always wear rubber gloves while cleaning shower area. Spray/sanitize and wipe down showers in-between uses especially areas where bare skin would touch. We use only EPA registered detergents/disinfectants to remove any residual bacteria and make it sanitary and clean for the next guest
  • Keep shower area neat and clean for guests
  • The last shift of the day should count out personal care kits, let the Volunteer Coordinator know how many are left, and set up for the next day’s morning shift
  • Sanitize and squeegee shower area after last showers of day (cleaning staff will scrub down after hours each night)
  • If a guest has a physical disability and needs assistance showering, alert the Volunteer Coordinator and they will contact the Medical Volunteer Staff to arrange a regular shower time for that individual with an RN to assist them (may take a few days)

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator

 

Reports to: The Beacon Designated Staff, Volunteer Coordinator

Skills Needed:

  • Experience in construction or building and mechanical maintenance
  • Knowledge of OSHA Safety Guidelines
  • A plus if you have coached others to do this type of work, but not required
  • Ability to lift 25lbs. at a time, bend, twist, and lift without difficulty
  • The following Certifications welcomed, but not required: Construction, Electrical, Plumbing

Tasks Include:

  • Assist staff with building repair and maintenance projects as able
  • Teach guests interested in learning new repair and maintenance skills
  • Help organize and execute projects to keep building and grounds in excellent shape

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator/Maintenance Staff
  • Ongoing training opportunities will be made available to regular volunteers in this area

 

Reports to: The Beacon Designated Staff, Volunteer Coordinator

Located:  First and Second Floors (float wherever support is needed) and shares office with Volunteer Coordinator

Skills Needed:

  • Patient, respectful, organized and friendly
  • Management, Teaching, or Coaching Experience
  • A good communicator and motivator of people
  • Learns quickly, will never ask someone to do something they would not do themselves
  • Flexible and willing to go where needed to help

Tasks Include:

  • Master areas of volunteer work and then coach and train others to do them
  • Encourage volunteers, offer suggestions, and help as needed
  • Keep track of ancedotal information
  • Be a positive person who values volunteers and their contribution
  • Make sure volunteers are logging all hours
  • Go where needed to coach people who are new or having difficulty mastering tasks
  • Diffuse any stressful or difficult situations as able
  • Listens to and encourages volunteers when they face challenges
  • Suggest recognition and positive reinforcement
  • Ability to do Volunteer Coordinator’s role when on extended leave

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator
  • Additional voluntary continuing training is available 3x monthly

Reports to: The Beacon Designated Staff, Volunteer Coordinator

Located:  Second Floor Computer Lab

Skills Needed:

  • Comfortable with technology
  • A working knowledge of how to locate resources in Madison, how to find employment opportunities and job training programs
  • Keep Job Board updated with current opportunities
  • Help locate transportation options
  • A good working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Any general trouble-shooting knowledge, or willingness to make calls and work through issues with offsite IT staff remotely over the phone
  • Patience, understanding and the ability to coach/teach people with a wide range of abilities in a respectful way

Tasks Include:

  • Greet each guest with a friendly attitude
  • Assign guests to computers, keep track of sign in and out times, be aware if people are waiting to use computers, and ensure no one goes over maximum usage time
  • Help guests research resources
  • Help guests with online applications and other items as needed
  • Answer questions about The Beacon and help connect people to services
  • Organize and stock the computer desk area with appropriate items
  • Help guests print out things they need such as applications, resumes, and program information

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator
  • Additional voluntary continuing training is available 3x monthly

 

Reports to: Guest Specialists, Volunteer Coordinator

Located:  First floor in guest lounge areas

Skills Needed:

  • Outgoing and friendly
  • A basic understanding of social services and how to complete a Housing first interview (we will train!)
  • Help locate transportation options
  • The ability to engage people who seem disconnected
  • Knowledge of card games or the ability to talk to anyone and be a good listener

Tasks Include:

  • Greet each guest with a friendly attitude
  • Listen to guests and try to find out what services you may be able to help them connect with, observe physical needs and make suggestions
  • Play cards/organize activities with people who have completed the application process to connect to services and are waiting until housing becomes available. Suggestions for fun activities include: organize/lead a Book Club, Classic Movie Club, Euchre tournaments, checker championships, crochet circle, etc.

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator
  • Additional voluntary continuing training is available 3x monthly

 

Reports to: Family Specialist, Volunteer Coordinator

Located:  First and second floor family areas, outdoor play area

Skills Needed:

  • Outgoing and friendly
  • A basic understanding of social services for Families with Children. We will train you to learn about services and resources
  • Experience working with children, knowledge of developmentally appropriate expectations
  • Ability to model appropriate behavior reinforcement and healthy parenting
  • Experience as a teacher, Nurse or Social Worker is a plus, but not required

Tasks Include:

  • Greet each guest with a friendly attitude
  • Listen to guests and try to find out what services you may be able to help them connect with, observe physical needs and offer assistance with solutions
  • Play on the floor with little ones, entertain them while parents meet with case workers, etc.
  • Help locate transportation options
  • Come up with special activities that engage children
  • Make sure that children’s basic needs are being met
  • Help parents get free formula/diapers and other resources for children (we will train!)
  • Supervise outdoor play area as required

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator
  • Additional voluntary continuing training is available 3x monthly

 

Reports to: Reception Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator

Located:  First Floor near back entrance

Skills Needed:

  • Patience and a friendly demeanor
  • The ability to recognize faces and names
  • To be observant and have a helpful nature
  • Love working with people

Tasks Include:

  • Greet each guest with a friendly attitude
  • Sign-in guests on computer system
  • Assist with new guest intakes as directed by Reception Coordinator
  • Alert guests to appointment times upstairs and escort to appointments
  • Help locate transportation options
  • Orient new guests to the day center and explain how the facilities work, when meals are served, what special programming is available
  • Answer questions about the day resource center, help connect people to services and Guest Specialists
  • Keep paper announcements and bulletins posted up-to-date and also keep TV monitor announcement current
  • Assist Reception Coordinator as needed with copying, organizing, and stocking the desk area with appropriate items

Training for Position:

  • Orientation, including resource access training (done by Volunteer Coordinator and Center Director)
  • Protecting God’s Children (done by Catholic Charities Human Resources Staff)
  • On-the-job training with Volunteer Coordinator
  • Additional voluntary continuing training is available 3x monthly

 

 

Our Guests

We especially need people of color and veterans to be volunteers so our diverse homeless population feels welcome and knows someone they can relate to understands their unique experience. We want our guests to understand they are not alone, that it's OK to get help,
and how to move forward in life.

Below are stats about the people in Dane County who are experiencing homelessness. This information is provided by the 2013 Annual Report on Homeless Services in Dane County (most recent available).

 

45% Families

 

28% Children

 

79% of families who sought emergency shelter who were non-white

 

 

68% of unaccompanied homeless minors who were non-white

 

11% Veterans

 

44% Suffer from mental illness

 

23% Have chronic substance abuse

 

 

28% Suffer from domestic abuse

 
 
 
Ready to volunteer? Click Apply Now! Contact Tami Fleming at (608) 826-8022 or tfleming@ccmadison.org for more information.