News and Updates

Spring Volunteer Training

Date: 
Mon, 04/07/2014 - 1:00pm

Sign up early for Spring training! If you are interested in volunteering, save the training dates (read full post for the dates) and then sign up here.

Winter Volunteer Training

Date: 
Tue, 01/21/2014 - 1:00pm

Volunteer training is coming up! If you are interested in volunteering, save the training dates (read full post for the dates) and then sign up here.

Whew! Website is back online

Bad news: We had a little crisis with our web server. The kind that deletes all of the website data. And the backups...

Good news: We had an opportunity to redesign our website! We hope you enjoy the new look.

We managed to rescue some of the blog content using Google cache, but there's quite a lot that's missing. At any rate, every good website can use a little housecleaning from time to time, and we'll have lots of cool new stuff to share with you via the blog in the coming weeks and months.

Summer 2013 Training

The next round of volunteer training is coming soon - if you are interested in volunteering, now is the time to sign up!

Basic training (6 hours plus video tutorials) is required for all SideWalk volunteers and is a prerequisite for advanced training. Advanced training (18 hours plus video tutorials and job shadowing) is required of SideWalk advocates, intake specialists, and post-housing support volunteers.

Welcome to the Game of Telephone

Outside of my work at SideWalk, I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Another volunteer driven program, CASAs represent children in the dependency system who have been taken from their homes as a result of abuse and/or neglect. We go to court and advocate in the child's best interest, after having talked to the child, their family, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. I am currently representing a young person who is getting to the age where he can really have strong opinions about a lot of things, and understand what's happening to him.

Gratitude Challenge

One might wonder: what does an agency that is working to end homelessness want with gratitude? We are working to end something that most people agree shouldn't exist. What is there to be grateful for?

Last week our director was out, our managing director threw her back out, and the greeter on duty for the day had emergency dental surgery. I said I'd cover for her. As the advocates came in for their day of work I told them about all of the absences they said, "what are we going to do?!" I said, "we're going to do it!"

Volunteer Appreciation Dance Party

This Saturday's volunteer appreciation party was reflective of every aspect of SideWalk: there were serious conversations about resources and obstacles, there was a lot of laughter, and there was a dance party. When the three staff spoke to the group we were reflective of ourselves -- Jill thanked the band and everyone for coming, Phil had statistics at the ready to recognize volunteer impact, and I told stories.

Desdra's Story

Editorial note: The population SideWalk serves, homeless adults, represents 2/3 of the homeless population in our area. There are a lot of stories, and today one our clients is going to tell hers. Desdra is a recipient of rapid rehousing assistance who wrote her story for the SideWalk blog and is interested in volunteering and giving back every where she can. If you wold like to support the rapid rehousing program, please go to www.walkthurston.org and click "donate". Thank you for your support!

News and Updates- Find Important Info Here

Welcome to Summer! Things have been very, very busy as usual and there is a lot to report. LOTS of important information below. Please let us know if you have questions.

Training Dates!

The fall volunteer and advocacy training will begin October 1, and will be Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday for the first week --advocacy training will continue on Mondays and Wednesday afternoons through the first week in November.

No More than We Can Handle on May Day

It was a tough day at SideWalk today, one where we had to call 911 and have a client taken to the hospital. In those moments, I am so grateful for the directed serenity of 911 operators -- their instructions keep you grounded and on task with the ABC's of first aid and emergency. Our volunteers acted swiftly and professionally and with great care. The client is being taken care of, and so far we think she'll be ok. What was most amazing in my eyes was watching as paramedics asked her if there was someone she wanted to talk to about what she wanted to do - she asked for her advocate.

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