Follow local and national homeless organisations on social media. Stay updated with news and calls to volunteer. Share those links with your friends and go volunteer!
Organise or contribute to a toy/book/hygiene/Hallowe'en costume/holiday drive for a local shelter.
Follow local organisations and find out what they need for the families they serve. You'll be surprised at the many skills you could share to help families get back on their feet.
- teach basic interview skills?
- teach stress reduction techniques to parents of homeless children?
- stories or make arts and crafts with children?
- gather a group of friends and organise a child's birthday party for the homeless shelter?
- cut hair?
Ask yourself what you love to do and see how that could be a contribution.
When I worked with children at a homeless shelter I invited a friend to teach chess to the children. Who would have thought this would be an important skill for a homeless child? The children loved this small group time with a patient, attentive adult and learned not only how to play chess but how to slow down, concentrate, strategise. That one hour per week my friend donated by sharing something he loved to do went such a long way: I saw the children’s nervous systems slowing down as they focused on chess moves and they were able to call upon this experience of concentration in their bodies when doing their math homework, etc. All that to say, don’t underestimate what you have to offer.
Bay Area Volunteer opportunities:
http://drawbridge.org/getinvolved.html - After school arts fun with children in shelters.
Don't forget homeless youth!
Volunteer organisations that can match your skills with non-profits:
If you work for a large corporation ask your HR department if you can volunteer during work time.