If you are assigned a morning shift or all-day shift, please arrive at the Shaw Conference Centre at 8:30 AM. Otherwise, please arrive at 11:30 AM for the afternoon shift.
The event will close at 3pm. Please keep in mind that we receive the highest traffic during the morning and just after lunchtime, so we’d like as many volunteers available to cover these areas as possible.
If you are interested in volunteering for the next Homeless Connect, download our Volunteer Registration form.
We will hold a volunteer orientation prior to the event. We will send you more information about the session after you have been assigned a position.
If you can’t attend the orientation, please arrive at the event 30 minutes before your scheduled shift.
- Receive a volunteer package with key messages about Homeless Connect – brief background, values, objectives and outcome.
- Receive a volunteer T-Shirt
- Be asked to sign your waiver form
- Meet your Team Leads and have your questions answered (at orientation)
- Receive a walk-through of the service provider, catering and laundry areas; a service provider list and anything else you may need to successfully complete your shift
Team Leads will be identified at the Volunteer Orientation. Volunteer Leaders are present at the Homeless Connect event to trouble-shoot and help Volunteers and Guests, so don’t hesitate to approach a Team Lead with any questions or concerns.
General Volunteer Information
- Volunteers will receive a Homeless Connect Volunteer T-Shirt and volunteer package
- Lunch and other refreshments will be provided in the main catering area. Other beverage stations will be dotted around the main hall.
- Volunteers can approach anyone in an orange shirt at any time for help or more info or whatever they need.
- The services area is extremely busy from 10 AM to 2 PM – keep in touch with your Team Lead to ensure you are aware if bottle-necks are forming or if a service in under pressure.
- If a guest doesn’t want to be accompanied, show them the set up of the Hall and inform them they are welcome to approach any volunteer with questions or assistance at any time.
- Please be flexible and keep smiling! Jobs may be assigned on the day of the event, please join in and accept the role with a smile – know that your contribution is valuable!
Volunteers are asked not to bring any valuables with them. You will be able to leave all your belongings in your meeting area, which we will lock between shifts; however, Shaw staff will still have access the rooms. You will not be able to enter the until your shift is completed or the afternoon shift begins. Please take everything you need during your shift with you but we recommend not carrying a bag around with you as you will be on the go.
Volunteer Job Descriptions
Homeless Connect Edmonton offers five volunteer positions: Greeter, Registration, Guides, Miscellaneous and Breaks.
The following are brief descriptions of each role.
Registration Volunteers have an important role collecting data from the event to improve our events and initiatives, so that we successfully achieve our goal to end homelessness.
- When you are ready to register a new guest, signal to the volunteers directing guests that you are available
- Greet and introduce yourself to your guest
- Let the guest know that you need to ask a few questions for data purposes so we can help end homelessness
- Go through the form with them and ensure you receive complete answers.
- Listen to our guests. Quite often they want to tell you their story.
- Advise guests of all the services we have available for them.
- Ask which services they would like to visit, and fill out the accompanying service request form accordingly.
- Signal for a guide to accompany the guest to their first service
If you have any questions about the registration form, please consult with your Team Leads.
It is the guide’s responsibility to take our guests from registration to their first service. Additionally, you will answer any questions about services and assist our guest’s with finding the services throughout the day.
- Once a registration volunteer signals they are finished, greet your guest and introduce yourself. Look over their service selection form and ask which service they would like to visit first. If a guest doesn’t know which service to visit, assist them by providing more information about each service such as line ups, availability etc.
- Accompany the guest to their first service:
- If that agency is busy, ask the guest if they would like to visit their second choice.
- If they are comfortable waiting for the service, advise the service liaison the guest has arrived.
- If they would like to move on to their next selected service, accompany them.
- When you arrive at the requested agency, introduce our guest to the representative and provide additional information regarding individuals’ needs as appropriate.
- Emphasize the fact that the guest can come back to you or speak to any volunteer at any time for assistance or with questions.
- Be flexible and keep smiling! 🙂
- Return to the intake area. Inform the Team Leader if the line-ups are more than a 10-minute wait, or if a service cannot accommodate any more guests.
NOTE: If a guest doesn’t want to be accompanied, show them the hall set-up and advise them they can approach any volunteer with questions or for assistance at any time.
It is the greeter’s job to welcome all guests to the event, as well as offer encouragement and assurance to hesitant guests.
- Greet and introduce yourselves as guests arrive at the event.
- Answer any questions, and provide an overview of the event and what they will experience.
- Direct the guests to Hall C for registration, and inform them there is coffee and muffins inside the hall.
- Let guests know that volunteers are stationed throughout the Halls in blue t-shirts to offer assistance.
- If they require valet service for carts or belongings, direct them to that area.
- Inform your Team Leader if your area needs more volunteers, or if some volunteers aren’t busy.
- Be on the lookout for intoxicated guests. Inform a George Spady Centre volunteer, or let security accompany them for a coffee and meal. Inform security if you suspect a guest is in possession of drugs or alcohol.
- During times you are not busy, take a walk throughout building, greeting people and encouraging them to attend the event.
NOTE: You may encounter visitors from other agencies or the media. Please ask them to sign in at the Information Booth. Also, please be on the lookout for Elected Officials and direct them to the Information Booth, as well as let your Team Lead know so they can inform the appropriate people.
All miscellaneous positions involve assisting with a service that requires extra help, helping out at a service that is run by volunteers, or filling in during breaks where needed so we can provide excellent service for our guests.
- Coffee– Serving coffee and muffins to guests as they come through the doors to line up for registration (food cannot be taken into the lobby).
- Info– Sitting at the information booth, and providing information or directing people to a service or person.
- Detox– Walking through the foyer, while keeping an eye out for intoxicated individuals, and assisting them to the detox mats.
- Clothing– Assisting with handing out and sorting clothing.
- Hairdresser– Sweeping up hair and any other task as needed.
- Eyeglasses– Handing out eyeglasses to guests
- Exit survey– Completing exit surveys with guests as they leave (beginning in the afternoon).
- Laundry– Assisting with laundry service, as well as asking guests if they require laundry service.
- Buggy– Buggy valet, watching bikes, buggies etc., as well as collecting and counting completed registration forms to ensure we have an ongoing total.
- Service Info– Advising guests on where they need to go for each service.
- Coat Check– Assisting Shaw staff at Coat Check
Please keep in touch with your Team Lead so they know if you are available for a new task, to take over a break or if you need any assistance with a service.
Over the course of the event, we enlist the help of 400 volunteers, with more than 100 of them helping out for the full day. As part of the Breaks team, you will help cover these volunteers so they receive adequate breaks. You will work at different stations throughout the day.