If you’ve ever been to Vancouver, you’ll know that the city has a depressingly large homeless population that the city doesn’t know how to address. Businesses in the area have tried to come up with solutions to offer people who are against giving homeless people money directly, largely in the form of “sandwich tokens.” These sandwich tokens can be redeemed at a specific diner, and helps misguided donors feel more comfortable helping homeless people. I personally think that it’s not our place to judge what someone does or doesn’t do with donated money, and that there are better ways to help the homeless population of Vancouver. One generous organization, the Covenant House Vancouver, helps homeless people, at-risk youth, and many other groups of people, and they are always on the lookout for volunteers who can commit for at least a year. If you’re looking to volunteer in Canada and have between a week and at least a year to do it, consider helping out Covenant House Vancouver.
Covenant House Vancouver is a charity that provides homeless people, at-risk youth, and runaway youth with shelter and support. They have a transition house, a crisis shelter, and programmes to help victims of domestic violence and other severe issues. Because of the range of services offered to those in crisis, the Covenant House Vancouver is always in need of volunteers to handle their food, administrative, and shelter services. Because of the type of work involved, they only accept volunteers who are at least 26 years old and who have at least a year to dedicate to volunteering. This may seem excessive, but it’s important to make sure the person taking on one of these roles has the time necessary to begin training and develop rapport with those seeking services at Covenant House Vancouver.
If you have less time to dedicate to volunteering, or if you’re under 26, you can still help the Covenant House Vancouver on smaller projects. Positions for youth often center on short-term or one-off projects. You may be asked to call donors to thank them for giving generously to the charity, or to help sort clothes to determine what is and isn’t suitable for those who use the charity’s services.