Jul 7th, 2022
10 Homeless Organizations You Can Help and Impact
Support housing organizations by volunteering.
Access to housing is a critical social determinant of health and heavily impacts both lifespan and quality of life. Social conditions starting at birth have a significant influence on adult health outcomes; the social determinants of health affect 80% of health outcomes in the United States. There are stark disparities and differences on health based on ethnicity, race, and geography, with a disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and low-income communities. Historic and systemic racism has caused a number of disparities around health, criminalization, incarceration, income, employment, and more, all affecting access to affordable and safe housing.
Why Help Homeless Organizations?
Homelessness is a critical issue in the United States. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that an estimated 326,000 Americans were homeless on a given night. This refers to individuals who are categorized as ‘sheltered homeless’, and are staying in transitional housing, safe havens, or emergency shelters. Between 2020 and 2021, there was also a 20% increase in sheltered individuals that identify as chronically homeless, which refers to individuals with disabilities who have been continuously homeless for over a year or have experienced a minimum of four episodes of homelessness that equate to at least 12 months.
In California alone, millions are in a state of emergency as they struggle to maintain their homes and face the risk of experiencing homelessness. This has been exacerbated by the effects of a three year pandemic as many have lost their incomes, jobs, and homes. Millions across the United States are facing housing hardship with late rent and mortgage payments, and at risk of experiencing eviction and homelessness.
There are a number of housing and homeless organizations who dedicate their time and money to fighting homelessness and ensuring that community needs are met. These homeless organizations provide a variety of services, such as food, shelter, clothing, and transportation. Many employ long-term strategies to provide assistance with re-housing, homelessness preventative measures, and empowering communities to attain better employment and affordable housing. Investing in youth education and curriculum around financial literacy, employment, health, and entrepreneurship impacts generational health and wealth, setting them up for success. Through a combination of short-term and long-term strategies, nonprofit organizations strive to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness across the country and create a higher quality of life for the most at-risk communities.
But they cannot do it alone – nonprofits are struggling to meet the increasing demands of housing insecure communities. There is an overwhelming need for capacity support as organizational budgets remain the same. Catchafire connects these nonprofit organizations with highly-skilled volunteer professionals to provide support in critical department areas like marketing, finance, IT, technology, development, human resources, and more. With financial uncertainty on the horizon, helping nonprofit organizations have the resources they need has become more important than ever.
Sign up to volunteer on Catchafire to help housing and homeless organizations today. Our projects outline specific skill requirements, clear deliverables, and impact statements from the nonprofit so you know what you’re signing up for and how your work will benefit others. You can choose from one hour consultation calls, short-term projects, and long-term strategy projects. Every minute counts and has a monumental impact on the nonprofits and communities you work with.
Want to volunteer for a nonprofit organization that is focused on housing and homelessness but not sure where to get started? Here is a list of 10 organizations that help the homeless, low-income communities, youth, and homeowners. Review their open projects and read volunteer impact stories that demonstrate the kind of impact you will have when you volunteer on Catchafire.
10 Organizations That Help the Homeless the Most
1. Care Association
Located in San Francisco, California, Care Association develops and executes strategies geared toward alleviating the economic burdens of lower- and middle-income households. The organization serves households across the United States that pay over 30% of their gross income on housing or are transient due to a lack of affordable housing. Their goal is to create affordable homes that do not rely on government subsidies by building small properties with donated and second-hand materials and with the help of volunteers and future residents. By building affordable homes and reducing housing costs, families will face a decreased risk of homelessness and can use their income toward basic goods like child care, healthcare, food, and clothes.
Cindy helped save $340 on a talent recruitment call and lent her expertise to speak about ways that Care Association could recruit volunteers to lead the organization’s fundraising efforts.
“It was a blessing and so uplifting to talk to Kiai. I enjoyed helping and doing for one what I wish I could do for all. The housing situation, homeless, and veterans are dear to my heart. Plus, I grew up in the community where the housing will be. I know the need is very real and also close to my heart. It gives me joy to help. Helping and serving others actually releases feel good chemicals in the brain. It is called the giver’s high. I have joy and a smile on my face. Pay it forward.”
2. Covenant House California
Covenant House California is a youth shelter that provides sanctuary and support for youth experiencing homelessness from ages 18 to 24. All youth in California deserve access to basic necessities like clothing, shelter, education, and food. The homeless organization provides a wide array of housing services, ranging from short-term care in safe havens to on-site and off-site transitional housing to permanent re-housing.
Zachary helped Covenant House California on a data visualization project, saving the organization over $4,000 that they used to provide more services and curriculum to youth in their programs.
“Zac was able to produce fantastic new visualizations for our data. We are in the process of integrating this into our programs to guide our direct service staff and improve our ability to assist young people experiencing homelessness.”
Director of Grants
3. Face to Face Health and Counseling
Face to Face Health and Counseling works to advance economic and health equity for youth while providing support, access to resources, and opportunities as they build on their strengths and achieve their aspirations. Face to Face serves low-income youth ages 11 to 24 that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Ramsey County, Minnesota. The homeless organization provides medical and psychological care, housing support, case management, employment training, and varied social service support.
Learn More | Volunteer
4. Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California
Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California works to ensure equal housing opportunity through a variety of fair housing services and mortgage foreclosure prevention services. Their services include fair housing counseling, pre-purchase education, tenant resources, and advocacy work promoting equal housing opportunity and preventing homelessness. This helps eliminate discriminatory practices, address policies that criminalize individuals, and ensures accessibility to affordable housing for people with disabilities, minorities, and low-income communities.
Maria saved the homeless organization over $7,000 on a translation project, allowing staff to increase outreach to historically excluded populations.
“Maria did an amazing and thorough job with this project. She translated documents from English to Spanish that we use for writing letters for our clients related to fair housing concerns and disability rights. The documents she translated are very important for our office as we focus on language justice.”
Apply now to provide marketing strategy support.
5. Generational Wealth Educators
Generational Wealth Educators helps families in Charlotte, North Carolina create legacies for generations to come. The homeless organization targets low-income communities and helps promote financial and mental wellness, investing practices, and homeownership. Their Future Leaders program supports high school students by providing education on financial literacy, building an income, entrepreneurship, and professional development. This sets the next generation up for success to have a higher quality of life around housing access, income, education, and employment, addressing many of the social determinants that tend to impact housing and homelessness.
Rena helped the organization save over $3,000 on a flexible marketing strategy support project, helping them develop their online classes.
“With Rena's valuable assistance, we now have a modern marketing framework to better understand, connect with and engage our audiences with relevant messaging and content to meet our desired outcomes. She consistently over delivered on her promises, and my team and I loved working with her.”
“I very much enjoyed the time I spent with Jasmine and her team. Clearly, they are super smart, talented, diligent and passionate about Generational Wealth Educators’ mission and making a significant difference in the generational financial and mental well-being of families in underserved communities. It was an honor and a privilege to help advance their cause.”
Apply now to provide assistance with tech support, their website, or process assessment.
6. Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness
The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness aims to prevent and end homelessness in Michigan. The Coalition includes an association of transitional housing programs, emergency shelters, government programs, nonprofit housing and service programs, and other members from across the state. Their goal is to be the leading advocate for those who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless through public advocacy, programming with service providers, public education, technical and resource assistance, and collaboration with homeless organizations across Michigan.
Be part of this community-based solution and donate your skills to this homeless organization; the Coalition is currently seeking volunteer assistance with logo design.
7. Rebuilding Philadelphia Together
Rebuilding Philadelphia Together aims to revitalize communities by transforming vulnerable homes into safe, healthy, energy-efficient homes. Their home repair programs include block builds in targeted neighborhoods, repairs geared toward reducing asthma triggers, and repairs for seniors.
Apply now to provide management skills coaching.
8. Revitalize Milwaukee
The goal of Revitalize Milwaukee is to preserve affordable housing and revitalize low-income neighborhoods in the Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. As the largest provider of free home repairs, the homeless organization improves economic and neighborhood stability by helping to keep homeowners in their homes.
The effectiveness of this approach is clear; by helping homeowners, families and individuals are not forced to move from their homes or suffer any health and safety issues associated with dilapidated housing.
Revitalize Milwaukee is currently looking for volunteers to help with flexible coaching support and a social media audit.
9. Thrive Youth Center
Thrive Youth Center is a homeless organization in San Antonio, Texas, that provides LGBTQ+ homeless young adults with safe environments. They provide a variety of resources for LGBTQ+ young adults ages 18-24 in San Antonio and Bexar County, including rapid re-housing, street outreach, and emergency shelters.
10. Transforming Youth Into Adults
Transforming Youth Into Adults helps improve quality of life for youth in foster care in Baltimore through community support, rehabilitation, education, and access to permanent housing.
Michael’s assistance on a website copywriting project helped the homeless organization improve their visibility in web search results. The project saved over $6,000.
“Michael hands down is the most talented writer I've ever come across. His writings have helped me secure donations, create web content, and provide a written introduction to who I am. I've had the pleasure of working with Michael on three projects, and he was overly impressive with each one. I honestly wish I had my very own Michael to assist our organization on a daily basis. Through our communications I feel I've gained a friend, and I hope we continue to stay in touch.”
Help Homeless Organizations With Catchafire
There are a variety of ways to support homeless organizations:
Turn your skills into something more: sign up today to volunteer and start making an impact! You will help support critical programming for community-based nonprofit housing and homeless organizations. Support ranges across several departments such as design, marketing, operations, finance, IT, and more.
If you’re a grantmaker and would like to learn more about equipping nonprofits in your community with responsive, high-quality operational support, let’s connect. Email us here.
For more resources around homelessness, visit the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
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