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Homeless Helpers

Homeless Helpers

Each evening during the winter months, around 275-300 homeless men, women and children are picked up around the city to get them out of the cold for the night. They are bused to the Westside Emergency Shelter (the old west side jail). The shelter is a place to sleep only and does not provide any food or services for the night.

Homeless Helpers volunteer groups (8-12 people) purchase food items, prepare the meals, then caravan to the shelter to distribute the food to the many men, women & children who are in need of a meal for the night.


The Homeless Helper volunteers will purchase and prepare the meals prior to arriving at the meeting point. The food prep can be done as a large group gathering or each volunteer can prepare their own predetermined amount and bring it to the meeting point. The volunteers will leave the meeting point and caravan to the west side shelter to distribute the food.

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Needed 300 Meals: Sandwich, Snack, Dessert and Drink.

Sandwiches: Sandwiches are the easiest to make and distribute. Peanut butter and jelly or any kind you would like to make.                                                               

- Ingredients for 300 PB&J Sandwiches: 

- 50-Loaves of Bread / 12 - 40oz jars of peanut (480ozs) / 14 - 32oz. jars of jelly (480ozs)

NOTE: If you choose to make a large crock pot type item, there is NO oven, stove or electrical outlet to warm food at the shelter. Please bring bowls & plastic utensils to serve food. 

Snacks: The snacks can be any individual pre-wrapped items like cheese sticks, yogurt tubes, granola bars, cheese crackers, nuts, etc.. or of course you can make your own.

Dessert: The snacks can be any individual pre-wrapped items like cookies, candy, rice crispy treats...or you can make your own

Drinks: Drinks can be water, juice, lemonade, tea or anything pre-packaged. You can bring a jugs of lemonade, chocolate milk, tea, or juice. (You must bring cups if you bring a large jugs of drinks.)

Anything you bring will be very much appreciated.

Additional Non-Perishable Items: Other non perishable items can be brought to the shelter to distribute at coordinators discretion. Please inform coordinator prior to night to make sure items can be properly distributed. These items may include. New Socks, underwear. NOTE: These items may not all be distributed, so be prepared to take back leftover items

Bags: There is no need to put food in individual bags. We lay everything out on tables buffet style. Sandwiches together, snacks together, etc. Extra plastic bags (WalMart type) can be brought to give out as needed. 

Meeting Point / Meeting Time: We will meet at 7:00 at Smiths parking lot (Golf Course & Paseo Del Norte) In front of the Starbucks. The caravan will leave promptly at 7:10.

Shelter Location: It is about a 17 minute drive going West on Paseo Del Norte from Golf Course. (Old West Side Jail Near Double Eagle Airport)

On Location Distribution Time: 7:30 - 9:00ish.

Volunteers: Minimum-4-8 / Optimum-8-12.                                                                                                     There are 4 stations of food to distribute, so we need 1-2 people per station to efficiently distribute the food.  

Age Requirements: Anyone high school age and up.

High School Service Hours: High School volunteers can receive service hours: shopping, making, transporting and serving the meal. Parents are always welcomed and encouraged to attend. This is not school sponsored.

Recruiting/Registration/Sign Up: A Lead Volunteer will recruit 8-12 Volunteer Helpers. Once the Lead has FULL commitments from 8-12 volunteers, Please Sign up at SignUpGenius (link below) for your Homeless Helper Volunteer Weekend.

NOTE: You must get a FULL commitment from ALL 8-12 volunteers before you register for your weekend. You will be the only group assigned to that weekend. Last minute cancellations are not an option.


If you do not have an account, you can search for registration by creator email - mbaca16@comcast.net 


Contact: Homeless Helpers Head Coordinator - Mary Baca mbaca16@comcast.net