2018 National Volunteer Week

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This is our time to recognize our volunteers and their service at Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless. Volunteers make a better life possible for those who need it. Their commitment to their community through service has impacted thousands of people who are experiencing homelessness daily in Albuquerque. Your volunteer service makes so much possible for people with so little. Your time is important and we are grateful that you choose to spend your valuable time in support of the AHCH mission. People who are homeless don't have a safe place to go, don’t have money, don't have the most basic of foods to eat, a bed to lay their heads, or even private or immediate access to a restroom. And worst of all, people without homes are not safe living on the streets or in overcrowded spaces. Volunteers have changed the course by creating opportunities and connection to resources. In 2017, 70 volunteers generously gave the gift of time and talent to AHCH, resulting in over 1,975 hours of action:
  • Volunteers helped by providing coffee, hygiene packets and maintaining a clean, safe space
  • Volunteers participated in fundraising campaigns that raised much needed funds to ensure that people experiencing homelessness can access AHCH’s comprehensive continuum of care
  • Volunteers taught risk reduction, prevention, and intervention services
  • Volunteers provided specialty services to people who needed vision and dental care
You give your time. Your time is a treasure to us and people who need our help. In recognition of National Volunteer Week, thank you for your commitment and service. Thank You. AHCH Volunteer Spotlight: A Conversation with Kathy Whether they are frontline, administrative, or fundraising, sit on a committee or Board of Directors, volunteers are an integral part of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless. Volunteers make the AHCH mission possible. Kathy Poorbaugh has been volunteering in the AHCH Resource Center (RC) for over one year. Every Monday when the doors open at 7 a.m., she greets and welcomes everyone in from the cold. She makes sure there is fresh coffee for everyone, clean towels for the showers, and sparkling computer monitors for the day’s guests. Social services staff in the RC and assist with birth certificates, identification cards, housing assessments, and case management. On average, approximately 75 people are served daily. Following her shift, Kathy sat down with our AmeriCorps VISTA to talk about her work as a volunteer. AMERICORPS VISTA: So, you’ve been a volunteer with AHCH for over a year. Tell me about that. KATHY: Well, first, I believe in the mission and goals of the agency. I support the work that is being done here. By volunteering here, I feel like I’m doing my part to end homelessness. VISTA: What does your typical day look like when you’re volunteering here. KATHY: When people come in through the doors, I make sure and connect people with the staff that will help them. And if they need to get on the list for a shower or a computer, I’ll help them with that. Somedays a cup of coffee and a hello is all someone needs to feel better about them self. VISTA: What do you enjoy most about volunteering at AHCH? KATHY: I tell you, there are so many people who come in with great minds. They blow me away sometimes [laughs]. I have a passion for mental health and how the brain works. Too many times I see seniors or people who come through our doors, who may have been overlooked elsewhere. Talking with people and getting to know them is probably the best part of my job here. VISTA: The AHCH Resource Center has been open for nearly 3 years now. I understand you worked here before it was built, but in the former Resource Center. KATHY: Yes, I did. I worked as a Client Advocate years ago. The Resource Center was across the street then. It was smaller and more confined, but it worked. What I’m doing now is what we did across the street. Now, this new building is just great because we have room for people to rest and socialize and the (social service) workers upstairs have nice offices. The staff here deserve this building because to see the employees happy and working hard is good for everyone. VISTA: Where do you also volunteer? KATHY: I coordinate volunteers at the Casa San Miguel Food Pantry. I also volunteer at Dismas House where people who are coming out of jail or prisons can ease back into society. VISTA: That’s amazing. How do you do it all? KATHY: Volunteering feels good. That’s the secret. All AHCH volunteers must be 18 years or older and able to commit to a regular schedule for at least 6 months. Volunteer applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. You will be contacted following the submission of you volunteer application to discuss how your skills and interests may fit an open volunteer position. If selected, you will be invited to a volunteer orientation and training. AHCH does not accept volunteer applicants for community service hours requirements or class credit. The Resource Center is open at 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Check out our video of the AHCH Resource Center. For more information, contact the Development office at 505-338-8038 or visit the website at www.abqhch.org.

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