Volunteer Guidelines

Introduction:

Our primary focus is to serve the people of Downtown Chilliwack. Volunteers serve guests usually in a small team under the direction of an appointed person who comes is supervised by The Director of Community Services (Peter Biggs).

Volunteers in effect are ‘joining’ Ruth & Naomi’s MIssion and need to adhere to our Mission and Vision Statements.

Whilst having anything to do with the Mission, no illegal drug or alcohol use is permitted.

When you are volunteering It is inappropriate to form romantic relationships with Guests.

All (potential) contact with guests outside of the Mission is to be reported to the Director. (This can be good and be a natural extension of care & concern - however there can be pitfalls).

Ruth & Naomi’s Mission may both enroll and dismiss any volunteer.

Who may be a volunteer

Volunteers first connect with our Volunteer Coordinator - Cheryl Giesbrecht. They start submitting a details on this site's Volunteer page (or they may have phoned or emailed). They will then meet with our Director of Community Services - Peter Biggs.

This can be an informal one on one or as part of a small group 'Volunteer Orientation' session that are held EVERY MONTH (last Thursday at 6 pm).

We may accept minors (under 19) either as part of a group overseen by a leader, or be accompanied by a parent. (Exceptions can be made with parental permission) Sometimes we have a full roster.

Volunteer Values

A volunteer need not be a Christian, however they do need to recognize and be supportive that Ruth & Naomi’s Mission is Christian, and embrace its ‘values’.

How we relate to guests and residents is as critical as what we ‘do’ to help people.

• Everyone has inherent worth (created in the image of God).

• We are not judgmental recognizing very individual has undergone a journey, with many and varied experiences - some good, some hurtful. Some of us carry invisible burdens.

• Guests are no different from volunteers (or staff) We ALL have struggles and we all sin. There is NO ‘them and us’ mentality. No ‘rank’ or ‘authority’ in being a volunteer.

• We do not stereotype people based on external looks or circumstances.

Our Christian foundation means we seek represent the ministry of Jesus, made possible the by indwelling Holy Spirit.

"the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: 

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galations 5:1 

Love does not mean naivete!

We understand that people are complex and require time and therapy to overcome chronic defeating behaviors. The Mission values biblical wisdom, therapeutic strategies (12 step, The Genesis Process etc) and prayer in seeking to DISCERN peoples needs.

Behaviors & boundaries

Where ever possible warmth and friendliness is foundational. As we are able, use people’s names and be flexible in seeking to meet people’s expressed needs. (However ‘no’ can be the answer!)

We have a responsibility for the good of the whole. People who fail to respect others by being conflictual cannot and will not be tolerated. In setting boundaries and upholding standards of behavior we will do so firmly, but with gentleness and respect- this is the responsibility of the Director of Community Services OR the Chaplain on at the time.

The Director of Community Services is available anytime to debrief and support any volunteer who may have questions.... pbiggs@ruthandnaomis.ca

Dealing with rudeness

When presented with poor attitude and unreasonable demands and rudeness, volunteers are NOT to ‘correct’ them. If this troubles the volunteer (which is likely) do speak to the Director later about it.

Dealing with conflict

This is usually disruptive verbal outbursts. Perhaps an exchange between guests that you as a volunteer notice or are alerted to. It may be an angry accusation directed at a server (volunteer).

(to reassure you this is NOT a frequent occurrence but may happen from time to time).

Aberrant behaviors usually come from mental illness, emotional damage, drugs (eg. Crystal Meth, Crack Cocaine or Alcohol).

Immediately stop what you are doing and alert the Room Supervisor (Peter, Graeme or Kevin) THEY intervene not you. 

(FYI they are trained and have the necessary authority to instruct people to cease their behaviour or leave the premises)

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1

Volunteer Training

We will be providing  Ruth & Naomi’s Volunteer Orientation training.

It will include:

Our History

Our Mission

Our Vision

Our Structure - Programs - Fact & Figures

‘The Room’ - the broad strokes.

Feedback - where you might fit in.

We endeavor to meet the Mission’s need with volunteers who are suited to the various tasks and roles.