Shelter Services adds two more volunteer training sessions

Two more volunteer training sessions have been scheduled as Hood River Shelter Services (HRSS) prepares for opening next month. Now in its eighth year and formerly known as the Warming Shelter, the program provides shelter, beds, meals and other services to the homeless from November through March. The sessions are:

• Tuesday, Oct. 17, 6-8 p.m.

• Thursday, Oct. 19, 6-8 p.m.

• Sunday, Nov. 12, 2-4 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 13, 6-8 p.m.

Trainings are held at Riverside Church, 317 State St., Hood River, the sole shelter site for the 2017-2018 season. Volunteers need to attend only one session.

The shelter requires 140 volunteers to operate each season, according to Laura Westmeyer, who was hired this summer as part-time HRSS director.

“This season, we are encouraging friends and colleagues to sign up together. Volunteers will be able to mutually request shifts to be paired together wherever possible,” Westmeyer said. “New volunteers are generally paired with experienced volunteers for their first shift. The training sessions are designed so that volunteers will understand shelter operations, learn how to successfully work with vulnerable populations, and hear from experienced volunteers. Volunteering for the shelter is a great way to take action and contribute to your community in a very real and meaningful way.”

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