Shelter Duties & Tasks

Minimal-Barrier Shelter: Duties & Tasks


Morning Shifts

6:00 AM – 8:30 AM: (2 shifts available per morning) (if you have to leave a little earlier than 8:30 AM to get to work, that is ok. Please let staff know!)

  • Arrive at 6:00 AM at our shelter, 1157 Sutherland Ave (back entrance, we’re upstairs!)
  • Please introduce yourself to the morning staff person.
  • Verify location of flashlights and whistles for safety purposes.
  • Help staff and volunteer to awaken guests by 6:15 AM to give them time to wash, pack up their gear, put linens in bins, fold blankets and to organize themselves before breakfast and their 7:00 AM departure.
  • Help staff and volunteer with breakfast set up and clean up.
  • Some guests may have been awakened early (usually around 5:00 AM) to go to work. Volunteers or other guest pitch in to take care of their linens.
  • Make sure guests leave the area outside promptly.
  • Help to clean main sleeping hall, kitchen, bathroom, hallway and stairs (sweep daily, wash when needed).
  • Store away food, dishes, laundry containers, and supplies.

Evening Reception

6:00 PM – 9:30 PM: (includes set up/intake) (2 shifts available per evening)

  • Arrive at 6:00 PM at the shelter, 1157 Sutherland Ave (back entrance, we’re upstairs!) – Please don’t be later than 6:00 PM, guests cannot come upstairs until the shelter is set up by the reception volunteers and the Intake staff member.
  • ring doorbell that is located to the right of the shelter door for entry.
  • You will be working with our Intake Staff person, and one other evening reception volunteer.
  • Please introduce yourself to the staff person; who will give you direction for that evening
  • Verify location of flashlights and whistles for safety purposes.
  • You will be greeting guests as they arrive; helping with intake; monitoring the main area, bath rooms, and outside smoking areas and reporting to staff
  • Play a game or share time with guests
  • Help with organizing the room for special activities; help serve hot drink and meal
  • Set out the folded bedding on the mattresses: one bottom sheet, one top sheet, one pillow and pillow and pillow case, two blankets.
  • Help settle guests in their sleeping areas

Overnight Stay

9:00 PM – 6:00 AM (1 shift available per night) (must be 19 or older, can sleep)

  • Arrive at 9:00 PM at the shelter, 1157 Sutherland Ave (back entrance, we’re upstairs!)
  • Please introduce yourself to the staff person
  • Guests will have already arrived between 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM. (our intake stops at 8:00 PM)
  • Interact with guests, staff and volunteers present, ask what needs to be done; put on your name tag
  • Verify location of flashlights and whistles for safety purposes.
  • Lights will be dimmed at 10:00 PM. Lights will be out and all quiet by 10:15 PM.
  • As the overnight volunteer you may go to sleep after guests have settled in their beds. The night staff is on duty throughout the evening and night to respond to any emergency. If the staff needs the overnight volunteer, they will wake you.
  • Lights in the corridor will be dimmed and washroom lights are left on. Make sure downstairs door is locked.
  • Fire alarm drills will be conducted at times for the safety of everyone.

Food Service

Approximately 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM for Food preparation & Service (1 available per night) Signing up for a “food shift” means that you’re purchasing and preparing the meal or snack at the shelter’s kitchen. Guests are to be served the meal at 8pm. Read Shift Duties!

(Note: Wednesdays and Thursdays are shifts for heating & serving food only, *no food donation required*, as we have food provided by an outside source.)

  • Purchase food to be prepared at the shelter to comply with Public Health expectations. Volunteers are welcome to come into the shelter at 6:00 PM or earlier if they need more than 2 hours — use the back entrance, we’re upstairs! A staff person and other volunteers will be available from 6pm onward should you need someone to serve or help you serve the meal.
  • Please introduce yourself to the staff person at the door and put on your name tag.
  • Verify location of flashlights and whistles for safety purposes.
  • The cost of the evening meal is a donation of the person(s) who prepares it. An in-kind receipt will be issued upon request.
  • Evening meals do not need to be extravagant or expensive! Let your own budget be your guide.
  • The kitchen is small, but two people can comfortably work together on a food shift!
  • Please keep in mind that some of our guests do not have many teeth, so if there is at least one softer option available, it’s is appreciated.
  • Please avoid dishes like chili and other spicy foods as many of our guests have delicate systems and it is close quarters through the night 🙂
  • Please keep in mind that these meals are often the only opportunity for our guests to receive healthy meals — every effort towards nutrition will assist our guests over all physical and mental well being.
  • Desserts are not necessary, as we are trying to avoid stimulants in the evening. Fruit or low sugar baking is a wonderful treat if you really want to offer something after the meal.
  • After the evening meal, the serving area is cleared. If you can stay to help, please help remove all food and all service items to the kitchen. Guests are not allowed into the kitchen area.
  • We now have a sanitizing dishwasher to properly clean the plates, cups, cutlery, etc.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Vanessa Kreway, Shelter Coordinator at

(778) 363-6404 – Vanessa Kreway, Shelter Coordinator.

(778) 363-6403 – Office.

(250) 448-5153 – Shelter – 1157 Sutherland Ave.