helping others

The downtown Minneapolis community has a collection of people, organizations and initiatives that are working in tandem to offer programs and help to those experiencing homelessness.

Check out the list below to see some of the opportunities taking place in the downtown area and throughout Minneapolis that are making a difference and how you can help.

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People Serving People – Volunteers

April 12 - December 31

People Serving People, located in downtown Minneapolis, is the region’s largest and most comprehensive family-focused homeless shelter. They envision a community in which all children have the stability and support they need to develop their full capacity and thrive, and their mission is to help homeless and at-risk children and their families manage situations and build a strong foundation for their long-term success. In 2017, PSP served 3,093 individuals from 1,104 families who were experiencing homelessness, and their average guest stay was 349 days. Their average guest age is 15 years old, and 63 percent of their guests were children.

People Serving People offers ways for individuals or groups to volunteer and make a difference in these children’s and families’ lives. They are looking for help in the following areas:

  • Meal server: Help serve breakfast (7:30-9 am), lunch (11:30 am-1 pm) or dinner (4:15-5:45 pm) and assist with cleanup if necessary. Must be at least 12 years old; children 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up for a specific time slot.
  • Resident resources assistant: Make an immediate impact, welcoming families into shelter and distributing vital information. Every day: 9 am-10 pm, 3 hour shifts: 9 am-12 pm, 2-5 pm, 5-8 pm, 7-10 pm. Must fill out an application, be able to work in a diverse and fast-paced background, pass a background check, and commit to a regular schedule for three months. Must be at least 16 years old.
  • Daytime early childhood development program assistant: Assist educational services staff in either infant or toddler room (6 weeks-2.5 years) or preschool (2.5-Kindergarten). Mondays-Fridays, 9 am-4:30 pm. Must complete an application, pass a background check and commit to regular schedule for three months. Must be at least 16.
  • K-5 educational support, tutoring and enrichment: Read one-on-one with a child, support children in doing their homework, and help facilitate a small group of children in grade appropriate lessons, games, and crafts. Monday-Thursday 5:30-8 pm, Fridays 5:30-7:30 pm, Saturdays 1-3 pm. Must complete an application, pass a background check and commit to regular schedule for three months. Must be at least 18.
  • Games and gifts: assist staff in packaging Family Game Packs for new families and wrapping birthday presents for children celebrating birthdays. Mondays-Thursdays: 11 am-7 pm (2 hour shifts). Must complete an application, pass a background check and commit to regular schedule for three-six months. Must be at least 18 or 12-17 with a parent.
  • Play and learn: Join us for parent and child music play time and exploration led by an instructor from MacPhail. Then assist staff in providing fun, interactive and energetic play time for children ages 6 months to Pre-K, while parents attend a class led by Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. Must complete an application, pass a background check and commit to regular schedule for three months. Must be at least 18.
  • Reading partner: Read with children in the front lobby and maintain books spaces throughout the building. Must be at least 18.
  • Teen program: Programming challenges teens to be problem solvers, innovators, risk-takers, and creators as they develop projects that are meaningful to them. Mondays-Thursdays: 6-8:30 pm. Must complete an application, pass a background check and commit to regular schedule for three months. Must be at least 18.
  • And more

Learn more and sign up to help by visiting their volunteer page.