Become a Volunteer


Join our volunteer team! 

Help us live out our values of compassion and human connectedness by volunteering your time. You'll be helping to support families experiencing homelessness transform their lives for the better. There are a variety of ways you can plug in on a daily basis! 

PHFS has many opportunities for volunteering directly in all of our shelter programs:

  • Goose Hollow Family Shelter is open every night of the year for 8 families with children at the First United Methodist Church.
  • Family Winter Shelter is open November-April for 75 moms, dads, and kids at Congregation Beth Israel.
  • Thirteen Salmon Family Center is a day shelter for families from Goose Hollow and Family Winter Shelter located at First Unitarian Church of Portland.
  • The Lents Shelter will be a day and night shelter for 26 families, open every day of the year, starting in fall 2018. 

Below you will find information about how to become a volunteer in our shelter programs.

We also have opportunities for indirect service like helping with fundraising, admin tasks, and facility operations. Email if you're interested in this kind of work. 

Volunteer Requirements

·    Volunteers must be 18 or older. If you are under 18 and would like to volunteer, you may still do so at Thirteen Salmon and Goose Hollow, as long your parent or guardian comes with you (our Family Winter Shelter is for adult volunteers only). We encourage families to volunteer together!

·   PHFS relies heavily on our strong volunteer base. At Thirteen Salmon and Goose Hollow, we ask for an ongoing, monthly volunteer commitment of at least 1 shift per month. At the Family Winter Shelter, we ask for 2 shifts per month.

·    If you are a former PHFS client, you are welcome to volunteer! Please wait until six months have passed since you have received services. Current PHFS clients are not eligible volunteer yet. 

I think there is a deeply human reality that each of us is completely in need, and that volunteering - helping people whose need is more visible - is a way of becoming more aware of that. It’s also a way of giving and experiencing love in a tangible way.
— Patrick, PHFS Volunteer

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

All listed opportunities for Thirteen Salmon and Goose Hollow are needed every day, 365 days a year. You can also volunteer at our Family Winter Shelter which is in operation November through April.

Opening Host, Thirteen Salmon | 8:00-11:00am | Every Day

Help our families start the day off right by helping with breakfast, socializing with families, and assisting the Shelter Coordinator with any special projects like cleaning and organizing.

Lunch Host, Thirteen Salmon | 11:00am-1:00pm | Every Day

Get creative in the kitchen and help prepare a nutritious lunch for the families, usually around 10-15 people. 

Afternoon Host, Thirteen Salmon | 3:00-6:00pm | Every Day

Spend time socializing with families, playing with kids, and working with students who may need help with homework after school. Also serve up an after-school snack. 

Helping Hand, Goose Hollow | 6:30-9:30pm | Every Evening
Helping Hand, Family Winter Shelter
| 6-9pm | Every Evening Nov-Apr

Help ensure a smooth operating shelter with a variety of tasks such as organizing donations, doing laundry, and setting up the sleeping areas for our families. 

Kid Time Host, Goose Hollow | 6:30-9:30pm | Every Evening
Kid Time Host, Family Winter Shelter | 6-9pm | Every Evening Nov-Apr
Kid Time Host, Thirteen Salmon
| Time varies

Use our games, crafts, toys, and books to engage our littlest guests in enriching, positive play activities! 

Meal Provider, Goose Hollow | 6:30-8:00pm | Every Evening
Meal Provider, Family Winter Shelter
| 6-8:30pm | Every Evening Nov-Apr

Prepare and bring in dinner for our families with children. While eating family-style, build community and get to know families over dinner!

Overnight Host, Goose Hollow | 7:30pm-7:30am | Every Evening *highest need

Support our families with their end of the day routine, sleep overnight with our families with the company of an overnight staff member, and help our families start their day the next morning! 

Incredible Years Meal Provider (off site) | 11:15am | Tues *highest need

PHFS teaches the Incredible Years Parenting Curriculum. Deliver lunch to the participating parents and their kids!  

Group & Family Volunteer Opportunities

We welcome volunteer groups from corporations, organizations, and faith communities. We also encourage families to volunteer together! 

Meal Provider, Goose Hollow | 6:30-8:00pm | Every Evening

Prepare and host dinner for up to 8 families with children. While eating family-style, build community and get to know families over dinner! 

Event Volunteers | October & December

Volunteer for PHFS' Family Reunion Fundraiser, occurring each October. We have opportunities that range from Greeter to Game Operator! You can also join us at our December Holiday Village event where we invite all our shelter guests to enjoy an evening of kids’ activities, visiting with Santa, dinner, and shopping for holiday gifts!

Get Started

The first step to volunteering with PHFS is to attend a volunteer orientation. However, as we prepare for the opening of our new shelter in the Lents neighborhood, we are pausing recruitment efforts for the summer. If you are interested in volunteering at our new location, please contact Volunteer Manager, Bethany Rocci at or at 503-915-8307 to be added to our orientation wait list. 

Thirteen Salmon Family Center Orientation

By attending this orientation, you will be eligible to volunteer at the Thirteen Salmon Family Center. This shelter site is best for individuals who want to volunteer.

We are not currently recruiting volunteers for Thirteen Salmon. 

Goose Hollow Family Shelter Orientation

By attending this orientation, you will be eligible to volunteer at the Goose Hollow Family Shelter. This shelter site is best for individuals, or groups and families who want to volunteer together. This site is not ADA accessible.

We are not currently recruiting volunteers for Goose Hollow. 

LENTS CAMPUS Shelter Orientation

By attending this orientation, you will be eligible to volunteer at the Lents shelter. 

Dates TBD | Summer 2018