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El Camino Homeless Organization in need of summer volunteers 

volunteersMany positions are available to fill due to vacation schedules

– El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO), is in immediate need of volunteers this summer. Many positions are available to fill due to vacation schedules.

“Our volunteers are core to the success of our mission to end homelessness in our community,” said Wendy Lewis, president/CEO of ECHO, “Volunteers come to us with the desire to give back to the community and are surprised at just how rewarding it is. Many of them tend to form life-long friendships with other volunteers and typically become regulars in a variety of volunteer positions.”

The positions available include the following:

  • Overnight coordinators
  • Greeters
  • Meal servers/teams
  • Morning chaperones
  • Evening chaperones
  • Breakfast/lunch providers
  • Shower monitors
  • Parking lot attendants

 

Homelessness is a big, often misunderstood issue, and what exactly ECHO does isn’t always seen, says Linda Steward, board member and volunteer for ECHO, “By volunteering, even just once, as an overnight chaperone or a meal server…people can see first-hand the important and life-changing services the shelter is providing. And, giving back to your community feels really good.”

ECHO operates shelters in Atascadero and Paso Robles to meet the immediate needs of families and individuals who have become homeless. With a unique residency program, clients are provided case management services to assist them in securing a job and finding permanent and sustainable housing within three months of entering the shelter program. While enrolled in the program, clients are taught life skills for employment, budgeting, health care management and social communication and interaction. The goal and the result of this practical support is the empowerment of residents to move in a positive direction while assisting them in acquiring the skills and services they need to become self-sustaining, including secure housing.

A force of 1,500 community volunteers provide ancillary support to run the shelters and a meal program that serves as many as 140 dinners each night to both shelter residents and the homeless population. ECHO also operates a shower program that provides hot showers three nights a week to anyone in need. ECHO supplies all the necessary toiletries and offers access to clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, and much-needed footwear.

For more information contact ECHO’s Paso Robles Volunteer Coordinator, Abgail Hanley-Cox at (805) 538-3947 and Avery Barbosa at (805) 462-3663 or sign up online at www.echoshelter.org/volunteer-sign-up.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.