Change starts with you.
We are deeply grateful for the dedicated volunteers who give their time and talent in support of our mission. We had over 300 volunteers serve over 8,000 hours at St. Francis House in 2021. We look forward to continuing to serve our guests through our holistic approach and with the help of our dedicated supporters.
Individual Volunteer Opportunities
The kitchen is our most tenured volunteer role here at St. Francis House. Kitchen volunteers can expect to work in a fast-paced environment with anywhere from three to nine other volunteers and up to three kitchen staff. Volunteer will serve meals, complete meal prep (cutting vegetables/meats, making sandwiches, etc.), interact with guests in the dining room as they eat, assist with dishwashing, and clean up at the end of each shift.
Saturdays & Sundays
7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – serve breakfast
9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – prepare, serve, and clean up lunch
Monday – Friday
7:00 to 9:00 a.m. – serve breakfast
9:00 to 11:00 a.m. – food prep
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – serve lunch
Expressive Art Therapy
Our Art Studio is a slow-paced space and offers the opportunity for one-on-one guest interaction. Gurleen, our amazing Art Therapist, embraces volunteers who display a willingness to listen, patience, kindness, take direction well, and can work independently or in pairs. Expressive Therapy volunteers may be placed with a guest as they work on their art, assist with creating art displays according to a monthly theme, stock art supplies, or complete light cleaning.
8:00 to 9:30 a.m., 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
7:00 to 9:00 a.m., 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
7:00 to 9:00 a.m., 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Clothing volunteers sort and organize donations in either the 2nd floor Clothing Room or Basement. Clothing volunteers may also support staff in our Clothing Department by interacting with guests who are requesting clothing, jackets, shoes, etc. Our Clothing Department loves volunteers who know how to balance taking initiative and closely following directions. They also look for volunteers with strong communication skills, flexibility and patience. Volunteers may be expected to lift up to 50 lbs.
Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday
7:30 to 9:30 a.m., 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday & Friday
7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Volunteers in our Resource Center scan in guests, work with staff to sign up guests for showers, stock towels, assemble hygiene bags, assist with inventory and organization of storage closet, and works on special projects as needed. This volunteer role is entirely guest facing. Our Resource Center Coordinator looks for volunteers who are patient, have strong communication skills, and basic computer skills.
Monday, Tuesday, and Friday
7:30 to 9:30 a.m., 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday & Thursday
12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Students in our Moving Ahead Program (MAP) benefit from volunteers working with them as they embark on their journey towards employment. Volunteers work with students doing Mock Interviews, tutoring individuals on basic computer literacy, providing classroom presentations on Life Skills and Wellness such as nutrition and exercise. We are also looking for volunteers to work in Studio Shine, our clothing boutique where students can choose business casual attire that they feel comfortable in for interviewing and wearing to their new jobs.
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Corporate & Group Opportunities
We currently accommodate groups of 5-7 in our kitchen on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. We do not offer volunteer opportunities on the weekend at this time. Be advised, group volunteer opportunities are typically scheduled one to three months in advance. We especially love groups in the summer!
Interested in bringing a group to volunteer and help out in our kitchen?
How do I sign up to volunteer?
All individuals interested in volunteering at St. Francis House should complete our Volunteer Application.
How long does the volunteer application process take?
Our volunteer application process can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks. We accept applications on a rolling basis, with applications reviewed every one to two weeks, depending on the time of year. Upon completing a volunteer application, our Volunteer Services Coordinator will reach out via email to set up a phone screening. From there, applicants can schedule a phone screening and come prepared with any questions around volunteering or St. Francis House! After completing the phone screening, our Volunteer Services Coordinator will follow up via email with your account information and next steps as appropriate.
What volunteer opportunities does St. Francis House offer?
St. Francis House currently offers volunteer opportunities in the clothing department, expressive therapy, kitchen, income, and our resource center. For more information on these different volunteer roles, please view the “Individual Volunteers” section above.
Does St. Francis House offer any remote volunteer opportunities?
No, St. Francis House does not offer any remote volunteer opportunities at this time.
Is St. Francis House currently offering group volunteer opportunities?
St. Francis House can accommodate small groups comprised of 5-7 individuals in our kitchen on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. We do not have group volunteer opportunities on the weekend at this time. Want to bring a group to St. Francis House? Complete our Group Volunteer Request today.
What is the maximum volunteer group size?
St. Francis House can accommodate groups of 5-7 at this time and will make no acceptations for groups larger than 7.
What safety protocols are currently in place?
All volunteers are required to wear masks. Volunteers in the Kitchen and Clothing Department are provided gloves. Volunteers will have plexiglass between them and guests when serving food on the line. Volunteers in the Resource Center will most often be behind plexiglass during their volunteer shift, unless working on a special project in a different area of the building.
Do I have to be vaccinated to volunteer?
Beginning February 14th 2022, St. Francis House will require that all volunteers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We do not require volunteers to be boosted for COVID-19 at this time.
What should I wear to volunteer?
- Wear a Mask (if you don’t have one, we will provide one)
- Wear closed-toe shoes
- Wear long or short sleeves shirts/sweaters
- Wear pants or shorts that are knee length or longer
- Wear a hat and wear your hair up if you have longer hair
- Do not wear nail polish when volunteering in the kitchen
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
You must be 17 years or older to volunteer with us.
Can I volunteer if I have received services from St. Francis House in the past?
Individuals must wait two years after receiving services from St. Francis House, or other providers, before applying to volunteer with St. Francis House.
Is there a minimum hour requirement to volunteer at St. Francis House?
We do not currently have a minimum hour requirement. At this time, volunteers must volunteer within six months of being activated as a volunteer and then at least once a year, in order to remain active.
How often can I volunteer at St. Francis House?
As frequently as we have volunteer slots open! We LOVE our volunteers here at St. Francis House and have volunteer opportunities 7 days a week, 365 days a year. St. Francis House has some individuals volunteer as frequently as five times a week, others once a week, once a month, etc. One of the most amazing things about volunteering here at St. Francis House is the flexibility we extend to volunteers.
Is St. Francis House close to any T-stops?
St. Francis House is a 2–3-minute walk from the Chinatown stop on the Orange Line, a 5-minute walk from the Boylston stop on the Green line, a 5–10-minute walk from Downtown Crossing/Park Street on the Red Line, and a 15–20-minute walk from Government Center on the Blue Line.
Where should I park when volunteering at St. Francis House?
Street parking is not available within the immediate vicinity, but parking lots and garages are plentiful within a short walk. The Millennium Place Garage at 47 Boylston Street is right next door.
How do I sign up for a shift at St. Francis House?
All active volunteers can sign up for volunteer shifts through VicNet, which is the extension of Volgistics, and also known as the Volunteer Information Center.
Are there any other locations I can volunteer for St. Francis House at?
No, all volunteer opportunities offered are located in our Day Shelter location 39 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02116.
Have a question you don’t see an answer to?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617.542.4211 with any additional questions.