With the single adult shelter population reaching record levels, as reported in our previous blog, the Coalition is facing a shortage of volunteer shelter monitors. For the last 30 years, pursuant to the Callahan Consent Decree, the Coalition for the Homeless’ staff and volunteers have been serving as court-appointed monitors of the single adult shelter system. Our task as monitors is to make sure City shelters are complying with the Callahan Consent Decree, as it relates to the conditions of shelters, services provided, and most importantly the right to shelter.
We have only one full-time shelter specialist who spends his days out at shelters, but with the continual growth of the shelter system– there are now more than 8,500 single adult beds– we need some extra help!
Volunteer shelter monitors can create their own schedules and can volunteer for any amount of time. Below is a brief description of what volunteer shelter monitors do.
A shelter monitor accompanies the Shelter Specialist and other monitors on frequent visits to inspect shelters and interact with the Clients. During these visits, the monitors may assist with:
• informing Clients of what the Coalition for the Homeless can do for them,
• locating sanctioned Clients (clients at risk of being ejected from shelter),
• identifying and reporting facility issues, and
• doing outreach for The Coalition’s Client Advocacy Group (CAG)
Twice a year, the Shelter Specialist conducts thorough inspections of every shelter in the system and monitors are needed to assist with these inspections.
Monitors also assist in the moderation of bi-monthly CAG meetings at the Coalition offices.
A monitor must be 18 or older, available some evenings and weekends and complete an individual training session.
If you are interested in becoming a shelter monitor, please contact David, our Shelter Specialist, at 212-776-2003!