VOLUNTEER INTERESTS

We need volunteers for all sorts of activities. What are your interests, skills, hobbies, passions? Do any of the volunteer opportunities below catch your eye? Click on each section or scroll down for more details. Or let us know if you’d like to help in some other way.

Administrative Roles

  • Fundraising
  • Publicity/Media
  • Volunteer Recruiter/Manager
  • Security Review

Domestic Help

  • Assemble Welcome Kits
  • Cook From Home and Deliver
  • Housecleaning
  • Food Donations Coordinator

Transportation

  • House Driver – Pick Up Donations, Groceries, Errands
  • Resident Driver – Appointments, 12-Step Meetings
  • Transportation Coordinator

Fun Stuff

  • Birthday Celebrations
  • Senior Outings

Social Support

  • Emotional Support
  • Life Coaching – Obtain Documents, Credit Repair, Career Coach
  • Tutor – Computer Skills, G.E.D.
  • Health Advocate

Specialized Skills

  • Auto Mechanic
  • Bicycle Repair/Maintenance
  • Household Repairs/Maintenance
  • Bookkeeping
  • Complimentary Therapy

Administrative Roles

  • FUNDRAISING
    • Most non-profit organizations operate from funds raised in their communities. Our Organization has never had the time or talent in-house to do this, but we need to now. Anyone with successful fundraising experience or ideas for exposure to Tracy businesses would be most welcome!
  • PUBLICITY/MEDIA
    • This is a new endeavor to enlighten our community about our services through radio spots, print, and other communication methods. Our Program model is unique and effective to help homeless men and we need community support to do the work. With adequate help, we can do a better job and possibly expand to help more people in need.
  • VOLUNTEER RECRUITER
    • We’re on track to have a well-greased system by which many hands will make light work. Historically in our Organization, just a few hands have done it all (see list of volunteer interests again). And although many kind folks have asked to help, we haven’t had a system in place to manage volunteers until now. If you’d like to be in charge of this critical work—to reach out into the Tracy community, find willing participants and encourage them to submit an application—it would be most helpful and appreciated!
  • VOLUNTEER MANAGER
    • If you choose this position, you will be taking a big load off the Director as a “one-stop shop” for help. It will require being on-call to reel in a volunteer to perform whatever duty is needed at the time, i.e., you may be called to find a ride to a last minute doctor appointment or to arrange dinner delivery because our cook is ill, or to send someone to pick up a donated bed.
  • SECURITY REVIEW
    • Sometimes our staff needs help to figure out a “who dun it.” We have 4 surveillance cameras in the common areas at Emerson House so that when we need to know “who dun it”, we can find out. An example is that 2 different times, a stranger hopped our fence and walked out the side gate with one of our bicycles. We were able to see his face on the camera storage and turn it over to the police. It takes a lot of time to go through the video footage and we could really use help looking through video footage to see what’s been going on when we weren’t looking!

Domestic Help

  • ASSEMBLE WELCOME KITS
    • Each new Resident receives a really nice welcome kit. It’s a new backpack filled with lots of toiletries, new towels and wash clothes, a pop-up hamper, shower shoes, hair comb and brush, manicure kit, sewing kit, etc. Altogether, about 20 different items are in each backpack. We assemble 24 welcome kits at a time, several times each year. It’s a big job and we could use your help if this sounds like something you’d like to do! Thank you!
  • COOK FROM HOME AND DELIVER
    • Cook from home and deliver hot meals. Each of our Houses has one person who cooks dinner 7 nights a week and they need a break. Our Residents love it when community members care enough to cook for them. We are happy to reimburse up to $50 of your grocery bill when you cook for both Houses. It’s a fun activity for you and your family and gives youngsters a chance to do good without putting themselves at risk. We’ll help you with recipe ideas if you’d like. They say the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!
  • HOUSECLEANING
    • You probably think that with this many people living at Emerson and Rochester Houses our Houses would be immaculate all the time. But sometimes things aren’t cleaned thoroughly or just need some deep cleaning. If you’d like to put on your earbuds, crank up your music and get into those nooks and crannies, please volunteer for this job!
  • FOOD DONATION COORDINATION
    • Local grocery stores and restaurants like to donate food but coordinating it is difficult with our small staff.
  • VOLUNTEER DINNER COORDINATOR
    • This volunteer is in charge of scheduling and coordinating the volunteer cooks. Volunteer cooks would be sent to you and you would give them instructions, schedule their dinner deliveries and help them with all the details. Some “volunteers” may be cooking for court-ordered community service credit so you would need to keep track of how many times they cook and for which Houses. We give 10 hours of credit when someone cooks dinner for both Houses, or 4 hours for Rochester House and 5 hours for Emerson House. This is a fun job but can keep you pretty busy when everybody decides to volunteer in the same week!!!

Transportation

  • HOUSE DRIVER
    • CURB-SIDE PICKUP
      • This would mostly be at Walmart and Home Depot and only if our Resident Managers needed your help. An order would be placed online, and your name would be added as an alternate pick-up person. The RM would forward the pick-up notice to you. You would use your own vehicle and all pick-ups would be in Tracy City limits. When you arrive with the goods to Emerson or Rochester, our Residents would unload your car. It could happen as often as 1 time/week.
    • ERRANDS (WITH OUR PICK-UP TRUCK)
      • It would be very helpful if we could call on you to use our pick-up truck to take a load or two to the Tracy dump, pick up a donation, take and redeem recyclables, or pick up something big and heavy from a store or a garage sale. This volunteer job requires a clean driving record so we can afford to add you to our commercial insurance policy.
    • GOPHER
      • We only have 1 driver at each House and it would be wonderful to have a “gopher” who we could call in a bind to run errands like picking up medications,, something last minute from the grocery store, or run something or someone from one House to the other.
  • RESIDENT DRIVER
    • DRIVE A RESIDENT TO THE STORE IN TRACY
      • Our Residents often needs rides to different local stores: a phone store for a new phone or technical support; Walmart for a new pair of sneakers or work boots for a new job; or the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. These rides would only be within Tracy City limits. Most of the time you would get 1-2 days’ notice and you would drive your own car for this.
    • DRIVE A RESIDENT TO/FROM AN APPOINTMENT IN TRACY
      • During the business day, picking up a Resident at Emerson or Rochester House and driving them to and from an appointment (doctor, dentist, mental health, DMV, etc.) in Tracy City limits only.
    •  DRIVE A RESIDENT TO/FROM APPOINTMENT OUT OF TOWN
      • During the business day, picking up a Resident at Emerson or Rochester House and driving them to and from an appointment (doctor, dentist, mental health, DMV, etc.) that is outside Tracy City limits such as to Modesto, Manteca, Stockton, sometimes to see a specialist in Pleasanton or San Francisco.
    • DRIVING MULTIPLE RESIDENTS TO 12-STEP MEETINGS
      • These meetings are in Tracy and schedules are still to be announced as begin reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic. They are an important part of helping our Residents with their sobriety. Pre-Covid schedule was Tuesday and Friday evenings.
  • TRANSPORTATION COORDINATOR
    • This volunteer gets our Residents where they need to go. The job does not involve any driving, but arranging transport to and from appointments (doctor, dentist, counseling), 12-step meetings, job interviews and other important places that can’t be reached safely on a bicycle. You may also be called on to arrange rides to and from work when the weather is bad (high temperatures or rain). You will utilize Uber/Lyft, Tracy Transit and Paratransit, health insurance-covered rides, etc. When the weather is good, this job takes no more than 1 hour per month.

Fun Stuff

  • BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
    • This is a fun job. The volunteer keeps track of the Resident’s names, cell numbers and birthdays. When a birthday is approaching, the volunteer contacts the Resident to find out what kind of birthday cake (only those available at Costco) they would like and their top 3 choices for their birthday dinner menu, then gives that info to the Resident Manager. They also purchase a birthday card and a $20 bill to and give it to RM a day early so the other Residents can sign the card. All expenses are reimbursed immediately via Zelle, Venmo, etc.
  • SENIOR OUTINGS
    • Coordinate an afternoon bowling time for our seniors. Take a group of our senior Residents to a ball game. Use your imagination and show our seniors a good time. Approved expenses will be advanced or reimbursed.

Social Support

  • EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
    • Sometimes when a Residents gets discouraged or has a personal calamity, they have no one to talk to who can help. Bereavement counselling for example would fall into this listed interest. If you’re the kind of person who knows how to give positive encouragement and uplifting advice and has a big shoulder, it would be wonderful to have your help.
  • LIFE COACHING
    • OBTAIN DOCUMENTS
      • The homeless have no way of keeping their important documents safe while they’re living on the streets. Our Residents needs help obtaining birth certificates, IDs/driver’s licenses, and Social Security cards. We’re experts on this but it’s time-consuming and overwhelming especially when we have 2-3 new Residents come in on the same week. We could sure use some help with this and would call you each time a new Resident comes in and needs this help. Thanks.
    • BENEFITS ENROLLMENT
      • New Residents who come into our Program are eligible for public assistance from San Joaquin County because they have very low or no income. Many come from outside San Joaquin County and need to get their services established here. Some have never applied for assistance or tried to navigate through the system. We also have an insurance broker who helps us with health insurance information, but our Residents often need help enrolling in Health Insurance. If you are knowledgeable about public assistance programs and could spare some time to help, we would sure be grateful!
    • CREDIT REPAIR
      • If you or someone you know has experience with credit repair, please step forward because this is a big need with our Residents. They are in our Program to take care of their obligations, to repair and prepare, and to get positioned in life so that they will never be homeless again. Creditworthiness is so valuable and so is your help!
    • CAREER COACH
      • Do you have experience helping your kids decide what they want to be when they grow up? Once our Residents get jobs and start paying off debts and handling their business, they need help to identify their strengths, gifts, talents, etc. so that they can match up with a goal job for their future, something to work toward. That goal may require them to go to school or otherwise strengthen their knowledge base and they need some guidance. Is this up your alley? It’s a great opportunity to help someone make progress in their life.
    • END OF LIFE PLANNING
      • Our Program stresses “taking care of business” like helping our Residents to secure employment, pay off financial obligations, stay clean and sober, and make good choices for their futures. This “talk” is to encourage them to save about $1,000 so their final arrangements are paid for in advance and their family or friends won’t be burdened when they pass away. Several of our Residents have done this and are glad to know it’s handled. This volunteer job includes presenting this to each Resident after they have secured a job and setting up a payment plan in their budgets.
  • TUTOR
    • COMPUTER SKILLS
      • Many of our Residents would benefit from knowing how to get around on a computer. For example, how to set up a private folder on our “public” computer where they can store personal information, pictures, medical files, etc. or how to set up and use an e-mail account, or how to use Microsoft Word or Excel.
    • G.E.D.
      • Residents who don’t have a diploma or G.E.D. need encouragement, motivation, and help navigating the adult education system and help staying on track once they start classes.
  • RESIDENT ADVOCATE
    • HEALTH ADVOCATE
      • Help a Resident of Emerson or Rochester House manage his health. This could mean helping them make doctor appointments, find the right doctor, or check on a medication refill. Sometimes it’s helpful if you attend appointments and help the patient with follow-up and follow-through. A Resident may have to have an operation and they need help understanding everything including all of the pre-op tests and post-op appointments. This is a good volunteer position for someone who has worked in the medical field. Maybe this is what you’ve been looking for?
    • MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
      • This volunteer would be called on when a staff member recognizes a possible need for a mental health evaluation which is done by Tracy Adult Clinic (San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Department). This job involves discussing and encouraging the Resident to be evaluated, helping him to call the triage line for an initial interview, scheduling an evaluation appointment and subsequent follow-up appointments with a psychiatrist and seeing that the Resident attends each appointment. This job is for someone who has experience helping people with mental health issues.
    • IMMUNIZATION MANAGEMENT
      • We require annual flu shots and all of our Residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine. It would be swell if we had a volunteer who would manage all immunizations (making sure new Residents get vaccinated, keeping track of when each Resident is due for a booster) because it is very time-consuming for us. Thank you.

Specialized Skills

  • AUTO MECHANIC
    • At Emerson House, we have a 1994 Ford F-150 and a 2002 Cadillac Deville and a 1996 Ford Expedition at Rochester House. They are in great running condition and we take good care of them. Service is expensive and it would be a miracle to find a volunteer we could call to help with minor vehicle repairs and maintenance. Tell us if you’d like to do the oil changes or any part of maintaining our vehicles. All out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed immediately. Thank you1
  • BICYCLE REPAIR/MAINTENANCE
    • Our Residents ride bikes to work. We try to keep 12-15 bikes ready to go at all times at Emerson House. When a bike breaks down, we do our best to fix it but sometimes we are forced to just buy another cheap bike. It would be great if we had someone who knew how to fix and maintain bikes and who could keep an eye out for good used bikes for us. All expenses are immediately reimbursed. Thank you.
  • HOUSEHOLD MAINTENANCE/REPAIRS
    • Our Houses are really nice and not very old, but we do have maintenance and repair needs pretty often. And those that present safety hazards need immediate attention. If you’re handy, we could sure use you to call on when something is broken or leaking, and we’ll cover all out-of-pocket cost. It’s not necessary that you be the repair person but that you coordinate to have repairs and maintenance issues handled when required. Big help for us, thanks.
  • BOOKKEEPING
    • Editing bank transactions, integrating bank transactions into accounting software, assigning each transaction to an account, collecting and managing transaction receipts. It’s a total of about 20 hours/month of busy-work and this job can be split up so you wouldn’t have to do it all. The help is much needed if you can commit to it. Of course, we’ll be happy to train you!
  • COMPLIMENTARY THERAPY
    • Everybody would love a nice massage for free, but we’re asking for volunteers to provide professional counseling and other therapies that promote the mental and physical well-being of our Residents.