Thank you for your interest in volunteering with our kids! We TRULY need people who want to make a difference in the lives of kids experiencing homelessness.
For 30 years Bethany House served 35-40 people (moms and kids) a night. In 2015, we acquired Mercy Health’s three shelters which more than quadrupled the amount of people we serve daily. Because our one facility (1836 Fairmount Ave) could not accommodate that many people, we leased three apartment buildings less than two miles from Fairmount. In 2016, we hired a Child Parent Coordinator, Denise Hill, who has done a major overhaul of our children’s programming which we are VERY excited about! This is where you come in: -)
We have two types of volunteer needs:
- Child Care - playing and hanging out with the younger kids (location - 1836 Fairmount Ave, C/O 45214)
- Kidz Zone - structured lesson plans teaching life skills to the older kids (location - 3574 McHenry Ave, C/O 45225)
Children who are experiencing homelessness have gone through a lot of trauma - they change schools up to 7-8 times per year which puts them terribly far behind educationally. In addition to that, they lack so much stability...they tend to move frequently which means losing friends and having to make new ones. Their parents are typically so overwhelmed with paying the rent, working two jobs, putting food on the table and being totally exhausted by the end of the day that there isn’t time for homework, bedtime stories, etc... Plus, homeless kids tend to have more illnesses and sicknesses than kids who have a stable home environment. It’s a tough road for these kids but our goal is to educate them, nurture them, love on them and hopefully give them a vision to break out of the generational cycle of poverty that they are living in.
Working with kids that have this type of emotional, intellectual and physical trauma takes a special kind of person.... they are not your typical kid that always understands "No" or follows instructions on the first (or second!) time. Our kids also require a firm but loving approach. Something I always try to keep in the forefront of my mind is that these kids typically don’t feel important or valued or special and I want to say or do one thing that makes them feel that way each time I see them!
We need volunteers for two locations in the evenings Monday thru Thursday. Each location does things a little differently due to staffing, parent’s classes and space availability.
- CHILD CARE - 1836 Fairmount Ave Cin OH 45214(7:00-8:30pm) The shelter basement has two rooms and you are welcome to use each one - the smaller room has arts and crafts supplies which are available to use. When the weather is nice, the kids usually want to be in the backyard. There is a basketball hoop, bikes, swings, slides, etc... The yard is fenced in - just make sure you close the front gate by the driveway - it’s easier to keep an eye on everyone! Typically there will be several volunteers but if by chance you show up and you are the only one, please notify the staff that you will need assistance and they will help out.
- KIDZ ZONE - 3574 McHenry Ave Cin OH 45225(5:45-8:00pm) Kidz Zone has FULLY DEVELOPED LESSON PLANS THAT ARE EASY TO FOLLOW AND TEACH that include topics such as financial literacy, life skills, nutrition, the importance of education, etc....There is always a staff member in the group.
- 5-11 yrs old - Mondays and Wednesdays
- 12-17 teens - Tuesdays and Thursdays
We would love each volunteer to commit to once a week because the kids need as much stability in their lives as possible while in shelter. We have a VERY brief amount of time to make an impact and we need committed volunteers to make that happen. If after reading this far you are interested in moving forward, the first step is to email Lisa at email@example.com -
Child Care - schedule a tour, fill out an application, pay $10 for an in-house background check (over 18 years old only)
Kidz Zone - fill out an application, pay $10 for an in-house background check (over 18 years old only) and most importantly, attend a class as an observer to make sure this type of volunteer work is for you!) Follow up with Lisa the next day to discuss how you would like to proceed after observing the class.
Thank you for your time and for wanting to make a difference in the lives of the kids in our shelter. If you have friends, co-workers or family members you think would be interested in working with the kids, please feel free to pass this email on!
Together we can achieve our vision of living in a community where no one is homeless (especially children) and everyone has a safe place to call home.
- Child Development
- Child Care
- Teaching / Instruction
- Youth Services
Good Match For
Teens People 55+ Group
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 13
- Orientation or Training
- 1.5 hours for 1 x week for 2-3 months or longer
- High School students welcome for under 5 child care