Simpson Housing

Agency Description: In the heart of Minneapolis, Simpson Housing Services offers a variety of services that strive to bring people in off the street and help them find and obtain stability. Their mission is to house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness.

Position Description: Simpson Housing Services’ shelter provides one-on-one advocacy services and overnight shelter for 22 women and 44 men every night of the year. Shelter guests may stay at the shelter from 30 days to three months, depending on their situation.  Staying at the shelter provides individuals with housing advocacy, healthcare services, toiletry and basic clothing supplies, showers, lockers, and three meals a day. Simpson’s goal is to help shelter guests move into safe, affordable, and stable housing as soon as possible.  Around 200 individuals move out of the shelter and into their own home each year. 

Two Shelter Support volunteer shifts are available every day of the year:

·         Evening Shift: 4:45 pm - 9:45 pm

·         Morning Shift: 7 am - 9 am

Volunteers assist staff with welcoming guests to the shelter, distributing supplies, providing wake-ups, and answering questions. Volunteers must be 18 years old or older and orientation and training is provided.  Shifts are available every day of the year and scheduling is done online. This site requires a minimum commitment of 50 hours in a 6-month period.

Timeframe: This volunteer opportunity is available 7 days a week, year round.

Benefits: Service learning at the shelter is an excellent way to provide a direct service to people experiencing homelessness and talk with people you have never met before.  Past service-Learning students have said the following:

·         "The most rewarding aspect of volunteering has been the impact we make on the guests' lives.  They seem so pleased when a familiar face continues to volunteer, it makes their day and it also makes mine.  It is also rewarding to see so many people laying their head down in a shelter, versus outside."

·         "Doing something for someone other than myself is a privilege and Simpson makes it easy to make this a habit."

·         "I really liked hearing 'thank you' from the guys, being able to fix a plate for the late arrivals, hearing their stories and making that human connection, learning more about myself, seeing an improvement in my patience and humility."

·         "I enjoyed the great conversations with intelligent men and working with really great, well rounded staff."

·         "Some of the Simpson guests are wonderful people and great conversationalists, but sitting down and having meaningful exchanges on the sidewalk is not an option.  Simpson provides a safe place to get to know new people and learn from their life experiences.  I appreciate this interaction."

How to Apply:

Please see our volunteer process below.

  1. Complete our online application. Be sure to select “Shelter Support Volunteer” in the volunteer position drop down menu.
  2. Simpson staff will review the application and contact you to schedule a 15 minutes phone interview for Tuesday, September 12th.
  3. Volunteers who are accepted will be invited to register for an orientation session.
  4. After orientation, Simpson Housing Services will process a criminal background check.  When that is complete, you will be invited to schedule a training shift.
  5. The minimum commitment is to share 50 hours in a six-month period.

Contact Christina Giese at cgiese@simpsonhousing.org or (612) 455-0859 with questions.