Volunteer Opportunities

Providing Shelter

Catholic Charities believes everyone deserves the dignity of home. As an agency, we work closely with individuals and families currently experiencing homelessness, living in transitional housing, and those recently housed in permanent housing. Volunteers serve a key role in this important work and we’d love to have you join us.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Many of the women experiencing homelessness that we serve could greatly benefit from the support of a mentor and friend as they work toward housing, employment, and other stabilizing benchmarks.

While case managers regularly work with clients to assist them in securing employment, healthcare, and housing, there is a great need for additional educational support from volunteers. Tutoring and pre-employment coaching are areas of great need.

Maintenance Volunteer
Have a tool set and an eye for small household projects? We’re in great need for a “handy-person” or two to help tackle small maintenance projects in some of our properties, including Kenton Women’s Village. Volunteers can also help teach residents how to tackle projects on their own.

Provide Meals
Sharing a meal is a great way to get to know some of your community members. Catholic Charities seeks volunteers interested in providing one-time or reoccurring meals and food to Kenton Women’s Village and the Housing Transitions Project Drop-In Center.

Catholic Charities has partnered with Clackamas County and other community organizations to develop a tiny pod village for houseless veterans in Clackamas County. During the development phase, there is an opportunity for volunteers to build pods. To learn more about construction-related volunteer opportunities for this project, please visit The City Repair Project.

Economic Empowerment

Catholic Charities works closely with individuals and families to provide them with the tools and resources the need to take control of their financial future. With staff support, volunteers accompany clients on their journey to economic success.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Financial Coach
Financial coaches in our Family Success Center partner with families to help them develop budgets, plan for the unexpected, identify opportunities to save, set goals, and stay on track. Coaches receive key training on active listening, engagement, and strength-based perspectives. Coaches are also included in learning circles to address challenges and opportunities they face when working with clients.

Financial Class Facilitators & Assistants
The Family Success Center at Catholic Charities provides regular and tailored financial education classes for community members. Join staff members as a facilitator and help teach components of the curriculum. Alternatively, volunteer assistants are always needed to help with setup, registration, and support.  Bilingual volunteers are encouraged to apply.

Support & Strengthen Families in Need

Working to support families has been a priority for Catholic Charities since our founding over 80 years ago. During the time since then, our services have adapted to meet the needs of new generations. From transportation for a mom-to-be so she can get to her doctor’s visit to putting together a crib for a newborn’s nursery, our volunteers make a difference daily. We are here to provide support, assistance, and education. Your hands and heart will go a long way towards helping the people we serve.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Moms Helping Moms Volunteer
Volunteers in our Moms Helping Moms group provide invaluable support to new mothers served by our Family Support & Counseling Program. Volunteers are matched with new mothers as they work through life’s challenges, recover from trauma, and adjust to life as a parent. All volunteers are trained and supported by trained licensed social workers and counselors.

Childcare Assistant
Volunteers are always needed to provide childcare so that parents can attend programming, support groups, and appointments.

Immigration Legal Services (ILS)

ILS strives to provide the highest-quality services to our clients, and your assistance helps us reach as many members of the community as possible. You can be a part of this rewarding work,  by volunteering your time and skills.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Attorneys and Law Students
Under the supervision of an attorney or accredited representative, legal volunteers participate in the day-to-day operation of ILS. Tasks include interviewing clients, translating personal declarations, drafting motions and memoranda on legal issues, and preparing evidence for submission to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Legal volunteers assist clients with their humanitarian and family-based immigration applications and petitions at all stages of the case.

Interpreters & Translators
Trained interpreters and translators are always in high demand as we work to serve our community. Volunteers are greatly utilized at training sessions and legal assistance events throughout the year.

“Know Your Rights” & Safety Planning Event Volunteers
Catholic Charities holds “Know Your Rights” Charlas and Legal Safety Planning workshops across the state of Oregon throughout the year. Nearby volunteers can be of great assistance in helping to set up, welcoming participants, and providing food/refreshment assistance. 

Administrative Support
ILS administrative volunteers assist with translating documents, assisting the attorneys and legal assistants with preparing immigration applications, drafting letters to clients, performing other research, and providing general office support.

Refugee Services

Refugee Services staff are tasked with providing and ensuring essential services, but there are often many other things that clients need or can benefit from that a case manager cannot provide. Volunteers can fill these critical gaps. Click here to learn more about working with refugees.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Welcome Refugees at the Airport
This volunteer opportunity is a great place to start if you have an interest in working with refugees. Every time a refugee family arrives to Portland International Airport, Catholic Charities staff and volunteers are there to welcome them. Because many refugees have experienced war, persecution, trauma, and great loss, arriving in the United States afters years of waiting is a very emotional moment. Join us in welcoming them to their new home!

Note: There is no need to sign up for this volunteer opportunity. Please monitor Catholic Charities’ Facebook page for weekly arrival schedules. Please note that refugee arrivals are usually late in the evening and are subject to change with little notice. 

Cultural Navigator
Our primary volunteer role is the cultural navigator. We match volunteers with a refugee family/client — ideally welcoming them with staff at the airport — to provide regular, ongoing support and cultural orientation services on a weekly basis during the first eight months following arrival. Cultural navigators act as a mentor or guide to refugees, assisting with basic English skills, familiarizing the family with their new community (parks, grocery stores, libraries, etc.) and orienting families to daily life in the U.S. (mail, bill paying, etc.) in an effort to ensure self-sufficiency in their new home. Often, they also help tutor school-age children as they adjust to their new educational setting.

Storage Organization and Apartment Set-Up
Help manage the flow of donations at our off-site storage space, working closely with the Refugee Resource Coordinator. Help load and unload donated items, and keep the storage unit well organized. Additional volunteers are needed on what items are needed to help set up apartments. Hours are flexible; weekdays are preferred.

Cultural Orientation Assistant or Classroom Facilitator
Volunteer with us on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at our Cultural Orientation Class for newly arrived refugees. Duties include assisting with individual needs of clients as they arise, with childcare, etc. In addition, we can use volunteers with training or an interest in the following topics to present to the refugees: community services and public assistance, transportation, banking/budgeting, housing, employment/job search.

Administrative Support
Help in the office with administrative tasks and assist case managers.

Specialized Opportunities

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Speakers Bureau
Volunteers can help Catholic Charities’ to achieve our mission by raising awareness of programs and services, recruiting new volunteers, help build recognition of the organization as a leader in social services in the community, and help  encourage potential donors to contribute financial support.  By serving within our Speakers Bureau, you will help increase the voice of Catholic Charities while providing new avenues of service and partnership within Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.

Parish Outreach/ Liaison
Volunteers can help coordinate and provide direct outreach to Catholic parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Portland (principally in the Portland metro area).  Outreach activities will include disseminating information about Catholic Charities to pastors, parish congregations, and appropriate parish based ministries and apostolates (pastoral councils, peace and justice groups, social concerns ministries, right to life groups, ministries to the home-bound and elderly, etc.), learning about service needs within targeted parishes, and promoting wider knowledge of and support for Catholic Charities within parish communities.  The volunteers will help align social service activity at parishes with Catholic Charities programs.

Development of Incubator Projects 
The Pope Francis Center for Justice and Charity Incubator Team will help launch and scale innovative programs to create new ways for people to use their collective time, talent, voice and financial investment to address social issues in our community.  We believe that new solutions to challenging issues facing our society are found through creative partnerships, collaboration and involvement of stakeholders at each level; and that the most promising innovations come from entrepreneurs who are willing to apply their talent and tenacity to “do good”.

Group Volunteer Opportunities

Groups from parishes, churches, schools, community organizations and businesses have an opportunity to serve their community by volunteering as a part of one-time or ongoing projects at Catholic Charities.  Types of activities may include:

  • Apartment set up for a new refugee arrival to Portland
  • Property maintenance or gardening at a tiny house village or housing property
  • Providing a meal for a tiny house village or housing property
  • Sponsoring a donation collection drive.

To inquire about group volunteer opportunities, please call Kirsten Goetz at 503-688.2623 or by email.