Volunteer Here

Our volunteers are celebrating a birthday with a guest

Sharing your time and talents is one of the most meaningful ways to give to those that are experiencing homelessness in Dane County. We welcome volunteers who are passionate about helping change a person’s life.

Whether you’re looking to serve on your own, engage your workplace in service, or connect your church/local group to The Beacon, we have a place for everyone!

Gloria- Beacon Volunteer

Is this the right place for you?

Are you committed to helping restoring hope to homeless men, women and families in Dane county? Are you over the age of 18? Are you able to volunteer your time on a weekly or monthly basis? Do you want to help change the lives of others?

What do Beacon volunteers do?

  • help make guests feel welcome at The Beacon
  • provide essential services that help individuals and families move forward in life
  • ensure that services are available 365 days a year from 8am to 5pm
  • can create a volunteer schedule to fit your availability
Meet volunteer Mother Joyce! She enjoys smiling and greeting guests at the front desk every Tuesday and Saturday from 8-12. Mother Joyce wanted to give back to our community after she went through a difficult situation last year and people surrounded her with love and care. She stated, “I want to give back to people because people gave to me.”

What are some volunteer opportunities?

Volunteers Help in a Variety of Roles:

Opportunities are available 365 days a year from 8am to 3:30pm. Learn more about each role, including shift times when you attend a volunteer orientation. To register, email dcrutcher@ccmadison.org

  • Cook and Serve a Meal – Individual volunteers or groups prepare a complete lunch to feed 175 people, using food available from The Beacon, Community Action Coalition, or Second Harvest. Prepare food offsite or at The Beacon. We have storage available so that you can prepare the meal ahead for daily volunteers to serve. 
  • Serving Food and Clean-up –Volunteers serve a morning snack and a healthy lunch to hungry guests at The Beacon every day. Kitchen Assistants help make sure it all runs smoothly by being a friendly, welcoming presence in the kitchen; making coffee; doing light food prep; serving food; and doing the dishes. It is all about teamwork. We serve an average of 150 meals each day thanks to volunteers – many hands make light work!
  • Laundry – Can you imagine trying to get back on your feet without the ability to wash and dry your clothes? Volunteers work with a partner to wash, dry and fold clothes for our guests so that they can be ready for their jobs, feel prepared for interviews, and feel fresher as they navigate their day.
  • Showers – Volunteers provide an opportunity for our guests who are experiencing homelessness to get clean and feel good again. We have six private showers that can be used for 30 minutes per individual. Shower volunteers check guests in for access to a private shower that includes use of necessary toiletries and then have time to chat with our guests and get to know them a little better while they wait. 
  • Computer Lab – Volunteers help guests with basic computer questions like how to find information online, complete work-related forms and resumes, and how to find a bus route that will get them to an appointment on time.
  • Welcome Center – help us create a welcoming environment for people when they come in each day, help them access their personal mail, and partner with staff to answer questions on a wide variety of topics.
  • Family Area – The Family Area doesn’t have a set structure, so volunteers should be comfortable jumping in (with guidance) to connect with the kids, leading them in developmentally-appropriate activities like reading a book together or playing a game. Your volunteer time provides a much-needed respite for parents when they are at The Beacon.
  • Shuttle Driver – use the Beacon shuttle to transport guests to and from overnight shelter. 

How do I get started as a volunteer?

  • Complete an application: Complete Application
  • Attend a 45-60 minute orientation that includes a tour of The Beacon
  • Shadow an experienced volunteer in one or more volunteer roles
  • Schedule volunteer shifts
  • Make a difference in people’s lives every day