Who We Serve
Downtown Emergency Service Center works to end the homelessness of vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and/or chronic health conditions. We choose to work with the most marginalized and most vulnerable people first, not the most cooperative.
Volunteer at DESC
Volunteers are essential to DESC – they allow our clients to connect to their community and make it a better place for all involved. In 2018, almost 700 volunteers performed more than 12,000 hours of service work. Volunteers help in many different ways across the agency. DESC is a multi-service organization, with many opportunities to impact the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors: people experiencing homelessness, living with mental health issues, and/or living with substance use disorders.
The DESC volunteer application process is designed to match your interests to the needs of the organization, so that your time with us can be as meaningful as possible. While the responsibilities of different positions vary, all positions require that you are dependable, have good communication skills, and are able to respectfully interact with people from a variety of backgrounds.
What we typically look for in a DESC volunteer:
- Willingness to serve current or formerly homeless people
- 18+ years of age
- Able to comply with DESC confidentiality and volunteer boundary requirements
- Available to make a commitment of at least one shift per week for six months
- Complete a background check
Attend Volunteer Orientation
The next step is attending one of our monthly volunteer orientations, where you will learn more about the services DESC offers, and how volunteers can help. At the orientation, you will meet with our Volunteer Coordinators, as well as other new volunteers. You do not need to have completed an application already in order to attend an orientation.