Community Crisis Services, inc. seeks volunteer hotline specialists to staff our 24/7 hotline serving callers in need from Prince George’s County, the state of Maryland, and across the nation. Hotline specialists serve those needing access to homeless shelters, information about health and human service agencies, support in times of emotional distress, or even help staying safe through thoughts of suicide. Through contracts with several government and non-profit agencies, CCSi’s hotline program provides a variety of services.
Our Homeless Hotline connects Prince George’s County residents with homeless shelter and support services-including Warm Nights, a CCSi-run overnight shelter that remains the only Metro DC area hypothermia shelter to accommodate families with children. As a 211 call center, CCSi provides information about a variety of community-based resources, including substance abuse treatment centers, food pantries, and disaster and emergency services. Our Energy Assistance status reporting service helps PG County applicants to the Maryland Energy Assistance Program stay up to date on the processing of their applications.
CCSi receives calls nationwide to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and to the Trevor Lifeline serving LGBTQ youth. Using evidence-based suicide prevention techniques, our hotline specialists de-escalate emotional crises and help callers establish short-term safety. Apart from suicide prevention, we provide support on these lines to callers going through a wide range of crises, from grief for the loss of a love one to a rough day at school.
Volunteer hotline specialists will receive 35 hours of training related to active listening skills, suicide prevention practices, and utilization of agency resources to match callers with needed information. Volunteers are needed to be warm, compassionate, patient, calm in crisis situations, and open to continued growth and development. Employment opportunities may become available in the future to those who complete the volunteer training and take on regular shifts.
CCSi expects volunteers who complete the training to take on at least 4 shifts a month, each shift 3-4 hours in length, for a 12-month period. No prior experience is necessary to volunteer. All applicants must be age 18 or older.
Our next volunteer training class will begin in late June/early July, and the scheduling of training sessions may be flexible depending on your availability. Training will typically include 7 sessions, each 3 hours long, including didactic sections and role play practice. Also required for all trainees is Applied Suicide Prevention Skills Training (ASIST), a 2-day, 15-hour class focused on suicide prevention.
Training classes are held either quarterly or more than once per quarter depending on the hotline schedule’s needs. If interested in our next training class or later training classes please visit communitycrisis.org and find our volunteer application under How to ContributeèBecome a Volunteer. Questions about CCSi or volunteering with CCSi? Feel free to email Jamie Brill, Overnight Hotline Supervisor, at email@example.com.