Guidelines for group or individual volunteers considering working alongside Salem Housing work teams on a Second Saturday Workday.
Questions or suggestions should be directed to Salem Housing, (810) 785-5340 – Louise Johnston (ext 25) or Natasha Thomas (ext 21).
1. Organize and recruit your group. Prepare volunteers for grubby work. Making a difference by controlling costs of a home for a family or limited income is dirty work. Volunteers do not have to have skills, just the willingness to learn. Salem Housing staff and regular volunteers provide direction and teach skills. They lead small groups in task performance. However, if any member of your group has construction, painting or landscaping skills and would be willing to help lead, please let us know.
2. If your group includes youth and/or children, plan for 1 adult for every 8 youth aged 12-16. If a parent is bringing children under 12, let us know in advance because occasionally a site is not suitable for young children and parents need to know ahead of time. It is important that the parent know to supervise their young children and help them find suitable tasks.
3. Whatever the ages of the youth involved, some adults should be identified as supervising adults who will keep an eye out on the youth. It is important that these supervising adults understand the role they are taking on.
First, their supervision ensures that if someone cannot perform a task, then one of the Salem leaders or staff can be alerted to help get the youth an appropriate task.
Second, that supervision helps identify growing boredom with the work, which, when combined with the youths’ increasing level of comfort with the situation in general, can lead to horseplay. Horseplay on a construction site can lead not only to unnecessary messes, but might lead to an injury. It is awkward for someone who does not know your group to intervene.
It is important that groups organizing for a workday plan for these roles.
4. Let Salem Housing know you are coming! Call to make a workday reservation at least 5 weeks in advance if your group will be 8 or more. Ten days before workday, call with information regarding number of people, ages and anything you know about skills or special needs.
When you contact Salem Housing 10 days before the workday, Salem will give you the address of the house at which we will meet and directions to it. We will also provide a number you can call if you need to reach us Friday night or Saturday morning.
At that time, give us a contact number for the week and for the Saturday workday morning. We will also be able to tell you at that time if a project is completely weather linked and whether we have alternative indoor tasks.
5. Prepare your group. Workdays are the second Saturday of each month. From April though October they run from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm; from November through March from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. This time period includes safety and task orientation, lunch (on the summer schedule) and clean-up time. It is very important that we know how many people are coming, how many adults are in a group and how many children under 14. Bring a sack lunch Hot and cold drinks will be provided.Salem Housing Community Development Corep. 3216 M.L. King Avenue FLint, MI 48505 (810) 785-5340
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