Related Program: Refugee & Immigration Services
80 Sherman Street
Primary Classification(s): refugee population, immigration, housing
Permanent housing is vital to refugee resettlement. Welcome Home volunteers help clean and furnish apartments secured for refugees. Welcome Home volunteers help pick up & deliver furniture and other household items. The Welcome Home volunteers help make an apartment a home by giving it good cleaning and attending to all the tiny details. This position is perfect for those who like to see the impact of their efforts. This position is perfect for those who like to work in small groups to complete a one-time or repeated task.
This is an indirect volunteer service opportunity. You will have the opportunity to prepare the home of a refugee who will soon arrive or who is moving into permanent housing. Your commitment can be one-time only or as part of an on-call team. Your work will help welcome refugees in a very practical way, by providing a basic need. Welcome Home volunteers help our paid staff expand capacity.
· On-call visits to the home of a refugee and/or community setting.
· Lifting, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, etc.
· Driving to pick-up and drop-off sites.
· Create a safe and respectful environment that promotes confidence and honors cultural traditions.
· Collaborate with RIS resettlement case management specialists, the Donations Assistant and the Volunteer Coordinator to assess the needs of the refugee and monitor progress.
Impact of Opportunity:
The Welcome Home volunteer will improve the quality of life of refugees by helping to make their new home in Maine more comfortable. The Welcome Home volunteer will embody the CCM core value of “hospitality” by “welcoming the most vulnerable and in need to an environment of dignity, safety, warmth and a sense of being home.” The efforts of the Welcome Home volunteers will help refugees build a safe life in Maine by meeting the most basic of needs.
Qualifications & Skills Required:
• Must be 21 years of age or older.
• Access to a reliable vehicle and clean driving record.
• Ability to approach cultural & age differences humbly from a place of learning.
• Commitment to ongoing self-reflection to examine privilege and prejudices.
• Willingness to learn from refugees and promote respect.
• Ability to build relationships and establish trust.
• Patience, flexibility, and dependability.
• Outgoing with excellent communication skills. Language skills helpful.
• Experience and/or strong interest in working with people/families from different cultural backgrounds.
• Ability to learn/teach how to access local resources.
• Creative problem solving.
• Ability to lift and carry items.
· Catholic Charities Maine Volunteer Orientation
· Ongoing RIS program/department orientation with various staff
· Monthly supervision with Volunteer Coordinator
· Webinars & courses from Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange, Switchboard and more.
Time Commitment & Schedule: Flexible, on-call hours normally during office hours: M-F, 8:00am-5:00pm, some early evenings
· An increased appreciation for human rights.
· Deepening of your knowledge of immigration.
· A mutually beneficial cultural exchange.
· Improved housing security for your neighbors.
Program Contact: Linca Vanessa Iradukunda, RIS Volunteer Coordinator, 207-653-2491
Updated July 2023: TEM