University of Wisconsion - Eau Claire




Overnight Warming Center Volunteer

30 hours

Community partner: Western Dairyland
Supervisor: Nathan Dougherty
Beginning date:
Ending Date:

Service-Learning Proposal Description


Briefly describe the project and the community need to be addressed.

Answer The Eau Claire Overnight Warming Center is looking for volunteers to cover one of two shifts each night. The first shift of volunteering would be 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM and second shift would be 2:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Volunteers would be in charge of supervising the guests staying at the warming center and ensuring that the space is a safe place for the homeless to escape cold weather during the night.


What is the mission of the agency or organization?

Answer This warming center was founded as a response to guests being turned away at Sojourner house when they have reached max capacity. Before this warming center was created guests who were turned away would have to sleep out in the elements, now we can provide a safe, warm space for those individuals to go.


What skills are required for this project? 

Answer Reliability is the main skill needed for this project. If a volunteer signs up for a shift, we need them to work that shift, or else we are in danger of having to close down the shelter that night. Each shift requires two volunteers to ensure safety of our volunteers. If one volunteer does not show up that puts the other volunteer in a position where they may feel uncomfortable and unsafe.


What are the objectives for the student learning and service?

Answer From volunteering at the Eau Claire Overnight Warming Center students will get an up close look into the Eau Claire homeless community. There is much stigma around this population, and by volunteering at the warming center students will begin to erode that stigma. Volunteers will also have the option to help refer guests at the warming center to community resources they may be in need of. The warming center will have brochures and resource cards present for volunteers and guests to have access to.


What are the availability requirements for the student?

Answer This is an overnight shift, and as a result students must be comfortable with these hours. Each shift is 6 hours long, and to get the full thirty hours of service learning the student must complete at least five shifts (although we would welcome the student completing more).


Additional information (not required).

Answer The warming center will have WI-FI access and when there is downtime during the volunteer shift (when guests are all signed in and everything is in place for the night) students will be able to work on homework or stream TV shows. All we ask is that the volunteer remain attentive, alert, and awake during their shifts.