Housing and Homelessness

American Red Cross

Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC)

Christian Aid Center

Habitat for Humanity

Helpline

Walla Walla Housing Authority

Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)


American Red Cross

Contact: Melissa Buckley, Executive Director, 175 S Park Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362, 509-525-7380

Mission: The mission of the American Red Cross is to help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters and emergencies. To that end, we offer CPR and First Aid classes. We employ volunteers in disaster response, blood collection, and teaching CPR/First Aid classes.

Volunteer Opportunities: Disaster Action Team member--respond to local house fires and other disasters to provide immediate housing, clothing, and food to victims of disaster. Teaching CPR/First Aid Classes, General Office support, i.e., website management, clerical tasks, janitorial work.

Required Skills: High level of commitment and dependability, completed volunteer application, able to complete and pass a background check, bilingual English-Spanish speaker is a plus. A genuine commitment to helping people and the mission of the Red Cross.

Skills Learned: Volunteers will learn about the importance of non-profit work and its benefit to the safety and welfare of the larger community. Volunteers can potentially gain experience as an intructor of CPR and First Aid Classes. This primarily involves teaching adults basic life saving skills.

Training: We offer a video that welcomes volunteers to the American Red Cross. We have a volunteer handbook that describes Red Cross policies and our mission and training is on an "as needed" basis. 

Volunteer Types:

  • Individuals who can come on a regular basis
  • Individuals who can come help out once with a big project
  • Individuals who can earn credit (service-learning) by working with your organization

Blue Mountain Action Council

Contact: Gail McGhee at gailm@bmacww.org

Mission: Blue Mountain Action Council exists so that low-income people in Walla Walla, Columbia, and Garfield counties are able to meet their essential needs. Our goals are that low-income people are employable, are food-secure, have affordable and safe housing, and have access to resources for protection of their rights and privileges. Further, we strive for public policy to address the needs of the low-income population.

Volunteer Opportunities: We need volunteers for food drives/sorting, long-term care ombudsman, adult literacy program, pro bono lawyers, neighborhood revitalization-related projects. Organization works with AmeriCorps, literacy, and Commitment to Community.

Required Skills: People who care about people; bilingual helpful but not required; willingness to work with people from all backgrounds, dealing primarily with low-income individuals. For food drives/sorting, ability to sort different products and/or to lift 25 or more pounds. For literacy, those who are good readers and enjoy helping others learn (some volunteer tutors help prepare adults to take GED tests). For long-term care ombudsman program, individuals or couples who can volunteer four hours per week to visit specific facility/facilities to listen to residents' concerns and speak on their behalf with staff and/or families. Commitment to Community neighborhood revitalization has big projects from time to time--clean ups, youth activities, painting, helping with neighborhood events, Christmas tree lighting ceremony, etc.

Skills Learned: Organizing, teaching, community outreach, understanding of other cultures, compassion, and the great joy of having helped improved others' lives!

Training: Varies by program, program staff trains volunteers.

Volunteer Types:

  • Individuals who can come on a regular basis
  • Individuals who can come help out once with a big project
  • Groups of volunteers who can help out once with a big project

Additional Blue Mountain Action Council Opportunities

Contact: Emily James, Public Outreach Specialist, 1520 Kelly Place Suite 140, Walla Walla WA 99362, 509-529-4980, emilyj@bmacww.org

Mission: Blue Mountain Action Council exists so that low-income people in Walla Walla, Columbia, and Garfield counties are able to meet their essential needs. Our goals are that low-income people are employable, are food-secure, have affordable and safe housing, and have access to resources for protection of their rights and privileges. Further, we strive for public policy to address the needs of the low-income population.

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers have several opportunities to help the Housing Department and residents of our Low-income housing for seniors, developmentally disabled adults and chronically mentally ill adults: landscaping, helping residents with cleaning and other household tasks, moving furniture and other household items, collecting hygiene items for residents, visiting elderly residents, organizing enrichment activities for children in our programs for homeless families, adopting families for Christmas (bringing gifts, decorations, etc), delivering food boxes to elderly residents.

Required Skills: People who care about people; bilingual helpful but not required; willingness to work with people from all backgrounds, dealing primarily with low-income individuals. Visiting residents face-to-face requires patience and sympathy, helping with household tasks, cleaning, landscaping, and moving furniture requires physical mobility and ability to lift heavy items, organizing enrichment activities for children requires some degree of lesson planning and maintaining order with groups of children, delivering food boxes requires driver’s license and transportation (or bicycle with saddle bags) and ability to lift heavy boxes.

Skills Learned: Compassion, teaching, understanding of other cultures, understanding of elderly, mentally ill, and developmentally disabled, landscaping, coordinating donations of goods,  and the great joy of having helped improved others' lives!

Training: Basic training and ongoing support provided by Housing Staff.

Volunteer Types:

·         Individuals who can come on a regular basis

·         Individuals who can come help out once with a big project

·         Groups of volunteers who can help out once with a big project

Christian Aid Center

Contact: Dianne Hufford,Volunteer Coordinator, 202 W. Birch, Walla Walla WA 99362, 509-525-7153, dhufford@christianaidcenter.org

Mission: Offering hope and restoration to the poor and homeless in our community by providing food, shelter, spiritual guidance, and case management.

Volunteer Opportunities: Breakfast and dinner preparation and service; Chapel & Bible Study leaders, childcare, van drivers, home & yard projects as needed.

Required Skills: desire and willingness to help take care of the poor and homeless.

Skills Learned: Compassion for those with less, organizational & team skills.

Training: On an "as-needed" basis.

Volunteer Types: 

  • Individuals who can come on a regular basis
  • Individuals who can come help out once with a big project
  • Groups of volunteers who can come on a regular basis
  • Groups of volunteers who can help out once with a big project

Habitat for Humanity

Contact: Gary Henderson,Construction Supervisor, 730 Wallula Ave., Walla Walla, WA 99362, 509-520-5000, henderson1970@charter.net 

Mission: A non-profit housing organization building simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with people in need.

Volunteer Opportunities: Can assist with home construction projects

Required Skills: Willing to try!! We would hope volunteers would be responsible, caring individuals that show up for projects, work hard, and follow safety guidelines .

Skills Learned: Team work, construction skills, people skills, civic-mindedness. Volunteers will also learn all phases of construction of a single family home, learn individual skills, work as a group for a common goal. Opportunity to learn maintenance skills for their lifetime.

Training: Basic orientation on the first day, then continued training on the job site, for the work being done that day.

Volunteer Types:

  • Individuas who can come on a regular basis
  • Individuals who can help with a project occasionally when it fits his/her schedule
  • Individuals who can come help out once with a big project
  • Groups of volunteers who can come on a regular basis
  • Groups of volunteers who can help out once with a big project 

Helpline

Contact: Liz McDevitt, Executive Director, 1520 Kelly Place Suite 180, Walla Walla, WA 99362, 509-529-3377, liz@helplineww.org

Mission: Helpline is a non-profit providing emergency social services in Walla Walla County. We help those in need with food, clothing, help with utility bills, rent assistance, eviction prevention, emergency shelter, perscription drug assistance, and we coordinate many other services. Helpline also operates the STEP Women's Shelter for homeless women.

Volunteer Opportunities: Meet directly with clients to do intakes and coordinate assistance; volunteer in our case management program; volunteer at the Women's Shelter to assist women in achieving independent living.

Required Skills: People skills; bilingual in Spanish helplful; good computer skills; desire to help people who are in difficult circumstances; compassion and desire to help those in need

Skills Learned: Interview skills; accurately discerning needs; understanding the life situation of the homeless and the poor; empathy; establishing personal boundaries; great experience in social work.

Training: Volunteers are trained at our location by our Volunteer Coordinator. We have a newly published Volunteer Manual which is also a reference for screening clients.

Volunteer Types: 

  • Individuals who can come on a regular basis
  • Individuals who can help with a project occasionally when it fits his/hers schedule

Walla Walla Housing Authority

Contact: Rosanna Morgan, 501 Cayuse Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362, 509-527-4542, rosannam@wallawallaha.org

Mission: Our mission is to create housing choices and energize neighborhoods, while focusing on providing opportunities for families of low to moderate income to prosper with dignity and respect.

Volunteer Opportunities: grounds maintenance

Required Skills: 

Skills Learned: Could learn about neighborhood needs, especially as they related to housing.

Training: 

Volunteer Types: 

  • Individuals who can come help out once with a big project
  • Groups of volunteers who can help out once with a big project

Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)

Contact: Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, 213 S. First, Walla Walla, WA 99362, 509-525-2570, aschwerin@ywcaww.org

Mission: To eliminate racism and empower women

Volunteer Opportunities: Reading to children; helping with kids' activities while moms are in support group meetings; sorting donations of clothing and housewares; cleaning toys; misc. maintenance projects like painting, repairing a playhouse; doing the weekly grocery shopping for childcare programs; misc. office work; serving as extra hands for childcare fieldtrips; making special presentations to girls in Mariposa program

Required Skills: Positive attitude; flexibility; Spanish language skills are a plus; confidentiality; ability to pass background check; must enjoy workingwith children

Skills Learned: Organization; problem solving; working with groups; learning about community organizations and the culture of a nonprofit organization

Training: There is no regular schedule at this point. Orientation and training will occur prior to volunteering starts.

Volunteer Types: 

    • Individuals who can come on a regular basis
    • Individuals who can help with a project occasionally when it fits his/her schedule
    • Individuals who can come help out once with a big project
    • Groups of volunteers who can come on a regular basis
    • Groups of volunteers who can help out once with a big project