Below is the Samaritan House Volunteer Policy that applies to all volunteers. Please read this policy thoroughly before volunteering with Samaritan House and please follow this policy at all times while volunteering. This policy is in place for the safety of all of our guests, visitors, staff and volunteers.
Samaritan House requires that all individual volunteers be at least 18 years old. Exceptions made be made for certain programs or needs. Please contact us directly for further guidelines.
For volunteers coming in a group from a church, school, etc. there is no set age limit. But any volunteer under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult unless an exception has previously been approved by the volunteer coordinator. Please Contact Samaritan House for any questions or concerns with this policy.
Volunteers who have children under 18 years old are welcome to bring them along with them as well.
There must be minimum 1 adult chaperone per 8 youth volunteers.
There may be limitations on what youth volunteers can do based upon their age and abilities but generally all volunteer opportunities are open to them as well with a chaperone accompanying them.
Please contact Samaritan House for any questions regarding this policy.
Volunteers may at times want to take pictures of their visit for this reason Samaritan House does have a Media/Photo Policy in effect for this purpose. When taking pictures of a guest, please be sure that the guest has approved for their picture to be taken. If in the event that you choose to use these pictures for social media sites and/or publications, please DO NOT publish any guests name and/or the reason that they are at Samaritan House even if the guest themselves have agreed. It is the policy of Samaritan house to abide by all Federal HIPPA laws and policies as well as respecting each of our guests privacy.
At no time is a Samaritan House guest allowed to ask ANY volunteer for any personal information (i.e.: email address, phone number, home address, etc.) We also ask that you do not offer this information to our guests without prior approval from Samaritan House staff and while interacting with a guest, please do not offer any services or assistance without prior approval from a staff member.
Also While an active volunteer, you are not allowed to offer the assistance of letting a guest come live with you when they leave Samaritan House.
Volunteers are allowed to stop by and visit Samaritan House at any time between the hours of 9:00am – 9:00pm daily. We request that when/if possible please call ahead to advise staff of the visit.
Currently, we have limited volunteers who are authorized to take guests to church services. When guests are in your care for a church services, we ask that you remain with the guest at all times (exception: using the restroom).
Samaritan House DOES NOT allow any volunteer to take any guest to their residence, friends residence or family residence at any time for any reason. This is for the safety of both the volunteer and the guest.
Volunteers may offer to take a guest to a scheduled appointment, please advise a staff member if you wish to provide this transportation.
Guests may not ask any volunteer for money, housing or other resources. We request that volunteers not give money. Gifts such as clothing, bibles, personal items, etc. are acceptable provided that all Samaritan House guests receive the same. It is difficult and unfair to other guests of Samaritan House for a volunteer to choose who to help and who not to.
Samaritan House guests are to show complete respect to all volunteers at all times. If a guest becomes rude or disrespectful in any way towards you, other volunteers and/or fellow guests, please advise a staff member immediately.
If at any time a guest requests personal information, money or housing or if a guest makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, please advise a staff member immediately.
Samaritan House guests can be very persuasive and often demanding; please do not feel the need to agree with their requests. It is better for you to simply pass the request onto a Samaritan House staff member to decide how to deal with it.
VOLUNTEER CONDUCT & HEALTH
All volunteers of Samaritan House are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful and appropriate manner while volunteering with Samaritan House.
In respect of the health of all Samaritan House guests, staff and other volunteers, we ask that volunteers be in good health. Please, if you are going through a cold, the flu or other medical issues that may be contagious, please reschedule your volunteer service to a later date. This includes volunteers needing the use of oxygen, IV’s or other medical devices that may interfere in their volunteer service.
Any disrespect towards a staff member, guest and/or other volunteer will not be tolerated.
All volunteers are expected to dress appropriately and according to their assignment. Any volunteer who dresses inappropriately may be asked to leave.
While completing court ordered community service, local college service programs and/or high school service programs, volunteers are not allowed to use their cell phones inside Samaritan House. Listening to music on cell phones is also not allowed. Samaritan House guests must abide certain policies concerning cell phones and we ask that volunteers do the same. If you need to use the phone for an emergency, please feel free to use the house phone, otherwise all cell phones must be turned off and put away while completing volunteer service program hours.
Effective immediately, when you are given an assignment and that assignment is complete, please notify a staff member. If there are more chores or duties to complete, they will be assigned as such. Otherwise, you may leave and return another day for more hours of volunteer work.
Unless authorized by a Samaritan House staff member and/or the program you are completing, volunteers are not allowed to sit and watch television, make personal phone calls, etc. If you need an assignment, please notify a staff member. If no assignments are available, then you may leave and return another day.
ADDITIONAL VOLUNTEER SAFETY
At no time may any volunteer offer Samaritan House guests any services, favors or benefits in regards to providing them jobs, financial assistance, and/or housing of any type while they are an active guest of Samaritan House without the prior knowledge and approval of Samaritan House Executive Director Rodney Tucker or on-duty staff member.
This especially includes but is not limited to providing housing when a guest is discharged.
It is inappropriate but more importantly it is very unsafe for any volunteer to do this. Any volunteer found to be violating this policy, may be asked to not return to Samaritan House.
Volunteers come to Samaritan House to provide invaluable volunteer services which are greatly appreciated by Samaritan House staff and its board of directors. But we also take seriously the safety and well-being of all our volunteers and as such we strongly insist that you as a volunteer DO NOT make offers to our guests unless you receive approval to do so by a staff member or until after they are discharged from Samaritan House. While they are active guests, please DO NOT violate this policy for any reason.
Samaritan House works with local courts as well as other county and state courts to offer opportunities for those sentenced to community service hours, it is up to each community service volunteer to maintain and complete their required hours and to do so in a professional and respectful manner.
Once a community service volunteer completes his/her required service hours or is discharged before completion, they will be provided a letter verifying the hours they have completed.
Those volunteering for court ordered community service MUST show up for any scheduled time they agree to and MUST sign in and sign out in the Volunteer Log Book. If a community service volunteer cannot make a prior scheduled time, they are to call Samaritan House to advise them of the change. If a community service volunteer fails to notify Samaritan House Volunteer Coordinator of any changes, the volunteer may be discharged from future service.
All other volunteer policies apply to community service volunteers and must be followed at all times.
Also as part of our policy, we do run a criminal background check before approval to volunteer is granted and scheduled.
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