We have many opportunities for people, groups, or churches to help us all year long, but it's more than just serving food on a plate — it's also about having an opportunity to learn why people become homeless in the first place.
Our programs give volunteers an experience like no other as our residents share their life's story of redemption.
[Note: The following are excerpts from students’ writing during the week following our visit with the Dream Center community. They are edited so as to protect the identity of the student who wrote them. They are offered here not as an expression of final conclusions, but as voices along the pathway of continued learning, reflection, discernment.]
“I realize that what I thought caused people to be in poverty wasn’t true at all. I always thought that people falling into poverty was by laziness or bad decisions, but didn’t know there was more to it. Some causes were learning disabilities, mental illness, backgrounds, cut from jobs, and not having insurance to stay on their medications.”
“The thing that impressed me the most is the fact that the people there still had hopes and dreams of things that they wanted to accomplish in life.”
“I realize how blind so many of us in society are to others in society that need a hand up vs a hand out. Dignity is often ignored when you hear ‘there are services for people like that’ or ‘I've donated, I've done my part’.”
“I have seen many fall, many continue to struggle and many come out glowing. My hopes for these men, of course, are to succeed, that is what my heart wants for anybody, but I am also aware of reality and it hurts.”
“I was very moved by the stories of the people who shared with us, both in their honesty in owning the mistakes they’d made along the way, but even more in their resolve for the future and hope they had to make a better life for themselves.
“I was struck by the tremendous amount of courage it must take to step forward each day, in the face of such trying circumstances, including addiction, homelessness, and even physical disease or disability.
“I had to fight back tears listening to the mom talking about the challenges of being homeless with children, and how much more difficult it is to find a place that will take you in when you have children.
“What is wrong with a society for which that is true? I was amazed at the kind of work they are doing at the Dream Center in being a part of the rebuilding of lives. It is an incredible ministry right in our midst.”
Lunch and Dinner Volunteers — assist preparing & serving lunch 11:30am and 4:30pm
Project Volunteers — Youth Groups, S.T.M. (Short Term Missions), special projects in ministry, event projects, painting, cleaning etc…
Homeless Prevention Volunteer — Help distribute literature, raise awareness of homelessness and chemical dependency and their prevention.
Volunteer Driver — Drive residents to and from appointments.
Café Volunteer — Assist with café upkeep, making coffee, washing coffee cups, clearing tables, etc…
Homeless Advocate Volunteer — Transport and accompany individuals to appointments, service agencies, doctors, court, etc…
Fundraising Volunteer — Assist with fundraising, grant writing and developing fundraising strategies. Assist with general office duties, mailings, etc…
Telephone Volunteer — Assist with answering the phones and light receptionist duties.
Mentoring — Work with our residents to see them grow socially and spiritually. Help them obtain jobs and further their education.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Dream Center of St. Cloud, please call Pastor Michael at 320-656-1550