Housing and Homelessness

Mission: Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in nearly 1,400 communities across the United States and in approximately 70 countries around the world. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat works toward our vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home.

Website: https://www.habitat.org

Volunteer form/page: https://www.habitat.org/volunteer and https://www.habitat.org/local/affiliate-by-state?state=NJ

What volunteers do: We offer several opportunities to build or repair homes with families, in addition to volunteer opportunities at your local Habitat ReStore.

County: Statewide

Mission:  HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey and break the cycle of poverty: we provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent service-enriched housing,  homelessness prevention services (including back rent & utility assistance), emergency food, free clothing and household goods at our FreeStore, affordable housing searches, job placement and readiness skills, and Special programming for children.

Website:  http://www.homefrontnj.org/

Volunteer Page: http://www.homefrontnj.org/volunteering/
Volunteer form: http://www.homefrontnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/HomeFront-Individual-Opportunities-Calendar.pdf
Email:  MeghanC@homefrontnj.org
Phone:  609-989-9417 x 133

What volunteers do:

  • Food and pantry warehouse: Prepare food bags, sort donations and check expiration dates in our food pantry. Organize items in our warehouse and help donors on the donation dock.
  • Sewing Space: Cut fabric, organize sewing material and teach our clients to sew, knit or crochet basic items. No experience necessary!
  • Free Store: Assist with sorting incoming donations of clothing, household items and linens and organize by category.
  • Homework Helper
  • Adult Tutoring
  • Teaching Kitchen: Teach a low-budget healthy cooking class to either adults or children.
  • Art Space: Encourage our clients to express themselves through painting, drawing and poetry.
  • Adult Programs:  teaching a life skill: budgeting, fitness, nutrition and more..
  • Joy, Hopes and Dream Tutoring: Help in our offsite tutoring programs for homeless and at-risk children ages 5 through 17.
  • Childcare
  • Summer Camp
  • Back to School Drive : Help process incoming items and organize donations.
  • Thanksgiving, Christmas Wishes Drive: Help organize baskets and prepare them for distribution.

FYI: All Volunteers must be 16 or older.

Region: Mercer County

Mission:  Foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities:

  • revitalizes communities by working alongside local residents to plan their neighborhoods’ future, and by developing energy efficient, affordable and healthy homes, parks, gardens, shared facilities, and more
  • trains and educates adults and youth through an alternative high school, vocational center, and family support services
  • builds wealth through innovative financial services and loans that help restore credit and increase savings
  • promotes healthy living by tackling environmental hazards, fostering energy efficiency, improving open space, and expanding access to locally grown food

Website:  https://isles.org/

Volunteer Page: https://isles.org/volunteer#.WOVZHBLyuRs
Volunteer form: https://isles.org/volunteer/contact#.WOVZPxLyuRs
Email:   volunteers@isles.org
Phone:  609-341-4738

What volunteers do:

  • Recreation Volunteers: Assist with engaging with community members and youth in healthy, fun activities in various locations around town.
  • IT Equipment Inventory and Disposition: Inventory, organize, evaluate, and realize value from our inventory excess of IT equipment.
  • Photographer: Take photos at our events, which we can then share with various media outlets.
  • Community Representatives: Volunteers are needed in neighborhoods throughout the area to greet representatives from Isles, introduce them to the resources in your neighborhood, and guide them while they carry out their projects.
  • Isles Youth Institute Mentors: Do fun, healthy activities with their mentees for four hours a month, and they serve as a positive and caring role model for at-risk youth.
  • Professional Guests: Help students practice their networking and career skills by attending events, doing mock interviews, and giving presentations on their careers.
  • Lunch Aide: Serve lunch to students at the Isles Youth Institute.
  • Garden Docents: Work with schools and neighborhoods to create interactive events in the community gardens.
  • Garden Stewards: Take care of a community garden.
  • Special Projects and Events: If you have specific interests, skills, or time constraints, these are a great way of support.

FYI: Volunteers who work directly with youth are screened and must pass a background check. Volunteers working with personal information must sign and abide by a confidentiality agreement. All Volunteers need to sign a liability waiver and photo release to participate in our projects.

Region: Trenton, Mercer County

Mission:  Our community reflects a diverse demographic profile of a largely Hispanic and African-American population. La Casa provides expanded, multidimensional services in the following areas: early childhood development, youth educational, cultural and recreational programs, youth & family counseling, health initiatives, HIV/AIDS prevention & services, WorkForce development & job placement, affordable housing development and counseling, community development and organizing, emergency and home energy assistance, and home energy conservation.

Website:  http://www.lacasanwk.org/

Volunteer form: http://www.lacasanwk.org/media//2010/07/VOLUNTEER-APPLICATION.pdf

Email: info@lacasanwk.org
Phone: 973-482-8312

What volunteers do:

  • Short-term and long-term event support.
  • Building Improvements (Painting, Landscaping, etc.)
  • Community Building
  • Community Development
  • Fundraising
  • Health Services
  • Immigration Services
  • Office Work
  • Public Relations/Marketing
  • Tutoring

FYI: All Volunteers are required to fill out a volunteer application including thorough background check, proof of identification, and references.

Region: Newark, Essex County

Mission: NJCA is a statewide grassroots organization that fights for economic and social justice. We combine on the ground organizing, legislative advocacy, and electoral campaigns to win progressive policy and political victories that make a difference in people’s lives.
Through education, outreach and direct services, we empower people to take control of their economic futures.

Website: https://njcitizenaction.org/

Volunteer form/page: https://njcitizenaction.org/?page_id=180
Phone: Interested individuals should call NJCA at (732) 246-4772 or (973) 643-8800 and speak with Ann, India, Dena or, Maura.

What volunteers do: New Jersey Citizen Action is in need of volunteers working out of our Highland Park and Newark offices on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays to do data inputting of and phone calling to activists across the state, inviting them to participate in upcoming events and actions coordinated by NJCA.

Region: Highland Park and Newark, Middlesex and Essex Counties

Mission: To assist African Americans and disadvantaged urban residents in the achievement of social and economic self-sufficiency. Provide full day child care and pre-school, help find employment, help with housing, and provide financial literacy education. 

Website: http://www.ulec.org/

Volunteer form/page: http://www.ulec.org/volunteer
Phone: 973-624-9535

What volunteers do: Tutoring / Mentoring Young Adults; Workshops / Tutoring Adults; Arts / Community Beautification; Pro Bono Projects and Services.

Region: Newark, Essex County