Volunteer Opportunities 2016-10-21T19:03:15+00:00

Volunteer Opportunities

Church-60September-21,-2015-4_VolunteerThank you so much for your interest in volunteering at South Oakland Shelter!

Current congregation partner volunteers – click here to sign the volunteer waiver agreement.

Before you begin volunteering, we ask that you please take a moment to read through our available volunteer opportunities below and fill out our volunteer application. Once you have completed the volunteer application, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Austin Kralisz at 248-809-3773 ext. 120 or austin@oaklandshelter.org to discuss volunteering and set up a time to meet.

Transportation Support

Transportation continues to be a major barrier among the homeless population. Many of our clients need rides to appointments and job interviews they have arranged throughout the day. This is a great way to help our clients on the path towards self sufficiency. All volunteer drivers utilize their personal vehicles and must present a valid license with updated registration and insurance. Transportation support is needed Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Emergency Shelter Support


Assist congregations during their hosting week. Sometimes congregations need extra drivers and overnight supervisors. This function is vital in assuring our organization continues to operate smoothly. All volunteers for congregation support need to be flexible. These opportunities call for individuals who can adapt to different environments. Times and locations may vary.

Interested in becoming a host site? Contact Austin Kralisz, Volunteer Coordinator, at austin@oaklandshelter.org to inquire about open hosting weeks, schedule a time to visit a host site, and discover other ways you can support our shelter.

Life Skills Classes

We currently have a great need for self-motivated individuals who are willing and able to facilitate classes for SOS clients. Examples of classes held by volunteers at SOS include: Resume and Cover Letter Assistance, Financial Literacy, Adult Literacy, Mock Interviews, Creative Writing, Computer Skills, Parenting Classes and  Navigating a Career in Transition, Yoga, Karate, Art Therapy, Guitar Lessons, Singing Lessons, and Knitting.

Volunteers for life skills class should be equipped and prepared to facilitate classes. SOS has limited materials for classes that have been created over the years. We would be more than happy to work with you in coming up with appropriate lessons. Volunteers will be expected to familiarize themselves with the  materials as the class will be personally facilitated. The best way to create a productive  learning environment is to have a consistent schedule (ex. every Monday at 4:00 p.m. or every third Sunday of the month). Classes are held at SOS in our large conference room. Individual offices and our computer lab are also available to facilitate classes.

Organizing Donations

untitled-15October-18,-2015_VolunteerHelp sort, hang, fold, stock, and organize donations. We need help organizing donations Monday through Friday and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. This activity calls for hard working, self-motivated and detail oriented volunteers who are willing to follow guidelines.

 Mentoring Youth

The mentoring program uses adult volunteers who are committed to supporting, guiding, and being a friend to a young person. All individuals interested in mentoring must receive clearance from the Department of Human Services before volunteering.

Mentoring volunteers must commit to a consistent weekly or bi-weekly volunteer schedule so the children can form a routine with their mentor. In addition, we hope volunteers have the financial flexibility and willingness to do engaging activities such as:  bowling, arcade gaming, trips to the batting cage, go-carting, trips to the driving range, receiving a manicure or pedicure, eating out at a restaurant, going fishing, attending a play, ballet,­ musical or anything else that may inspire, motivate or enhance the life of a child (SOS does receive some free passes and will provide them when available).

Special Events

for more information on special events.Assist in the planning of events, as well as helping at the actual event (registration table, set-up, take-down, etc.). Times vary depending on the event. Click here for more information on upcoming events.


Provide educational support to SOS clients by assisting with  homework, school projects, as well teaching positive study skills. Tutoring takes place at 5:00 p.m. at the SOS office or at 7:00 p.m. at the host site. Tutors should come once every week.