Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

The OC Armory Emergency Shelter Program Seeks Volunteers

By OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett

With the cold weather upon us, the Orange County Armory Shelter opened on November 14 and will remain open through April 15, 2016. The Armory Program provides up to 400 beds per night for the homeless in Fullerton and Santa Ana. Volunteers are needed 7 days per week to help both in the evening (5-8 PM) and morning hours (5-7 AM). Volunteer activities include assisting with set-up, clean up, passing out meals and donations.

Seasonal Emergency Shelter Volunteer Opportunities

Shelter season will run through approximately April 15, 2015.

General Information

♥  The Armory program provides up to 400 beds per night for the homeless in Fullerton and Santa Ana.

♥  Volunteers will be needed 7 days per week to help both in the evening (5-8pm) and morning hours (5-7am)

♥  Volunteers will be assisting with set-up, clean-up, passing meals and donations.

♥  Volunteers are also needed to provide dinners on a nightly basis. Dinners must feed

200 clients (or 60 at the Family Redirection Shelter) and must contain a meat, starch, and vegetable

♥  Volunteers are also needed at the Family Redirection Shelter in Fullerton, which provides 60 beds per night for homeless men, women, and children.

More OC Armory Volunteers

How do I sign up? 

Go to the Mercy House Volunteer Up home page. Register yourself by creating a username & password.  View the calendar for an open shift and select the am or pm shift that you would like to sign up for. You also have the option of adding guests **Please note, your guest must create an account on Volunteer Up as well. They don’t have to “sign up” since they will already be your guest.

How do I cancel a shift on Volunteer Up?

If for any reason you want to cancel a shift that you have previously signed up for, please log in and go to MY INFO (tab located near the left top of the page).  Under this tab you will see MY COMMITMENTS.  From there you can delete your shift.

What are my duties as a volunteer?

Click on the positions below to learn more about each opportunity.

Armory Evening Shift

Armory Morning Shift

Family Shelter Evening Shift

What is the age minimum to volunteer at the shelters?

Volunteers must be 10 years & older and must have a guardian with them if they are under 18. Please keep in mind that the guardian would also have to be a registered volunteer for the shift.

Where are the shelters located? 

The Santa Ana Armory is located at 612 E. Warner St. Santa Ana, CA 92707 & the Fullerton Armory is located at 400 S. Brookhurst St. Fullerton, CA. 92833. The Community Resource Coordinator, Lauren Celaya will provide current Family Shelter locations via email.

What types of donations are needed at the shelters?

Click on the links below to see the shelter “Wish Lists”, how to schedule a donation and where to drop off.

In kind donations are accepted Mon – Thurs 5pm-8pm at the Armories. Please keep in mind that we can only accept clothing attire that is appropriate for the cold weather. Please no summer clothing.  If you are interested in donating hot chocolate, granola bars (nature valley) we would be more than happy to accept these in-kind items! **Please note, items cannot be expired**

Armory Emergency Shelter Donation Wishlist

Family Redirection Program Donation Wishlist

How can I help to prepare food at the emergency shelters (dinners and/or sack lunches)?

Sack Lunches (opportunity available end of Nov. – end of Armory Season)

One of our greatest needs are sack lunches at all of our emergency shelters.  The Santa Ana Armory is in need of 150-200 sack lunches and The Family Shelter would need 75-100. If your group is willing and able to collect the supplies, This would be a great opportunity for your group to get together and at your school, church, or a group leaders home. We ask that the sandwich be a Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich (no meat sandwiches).  The sack lunches will be passed out the following morning, so the clients have something to eat the following afternoon.

Some groups have been known to contact their local grocery store for donation support of peanut butter, jelly, chips, drinks (Capri suns), individual cookie bags or chips. Please feel free to write a nice message on the outside of the bag or create a small card to be placed inside.

Dinner Service Donations &  Sponsorships (opportunity available end of Nov.- end of Armory Season)

Interested in providing a prepared dinner to the Armories or Family Shelter? We ask that the meal consist of a protein, starch and veggie. A good example of a meal would be spaghetti & meatballs with a piece of garlic toast and green salad.  Desserts and Drinks are optional! There will already be plates, forks, spoons, napkins, Kool-Aid & coffee on site. For the Armories we prepare for 200 individuals & and Family Shelter for about 75-100 individuals.  If preparing food is too big of a task perhaps being a dinner sponsor would be a better fit!

Want to look good while volunteering?

Check out the limited edition “It Always Seems Impossible Until It’s Done” T-Shirt. Proceeds from your donation will help support services at the Armory Shelters. http://mercyhouse.net/t-shirt/

Additional Questions?

Please contact Lauren Celaya, Community Resource Coordinator at laurenc@mercyhouse.netor (714) 836-7188 x128



By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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