Occasional volunteers supplement the ongoing operation with new, friendly faces and opportunities for guests to interact with people from the broader community--like you!

Volunteers are welcome, one or two at a time, Monday thru Thursday and Saturday and Sunday evenings from 6 pm to 9 pm. Weekends and holidays at St Paul shelter, volunteers are also helpful from 11 am to 2 pm.

As a volunteer at St. Paul Men’s Shelter, your participation and the interactions that you share with our guests provide meaningful experiences for them as individuals, and are also extremely helpful to the staff. Volunteers may be asked to do any of a variety of tasks that help assure smooth operations of the shelter and allow staff to focus on providing Peer Support to our guests.

Every Friday at 5:00 pm (except Friday preceding a holiday weekend), all volunteers are invited to attend a tour and introduction-to-volunteering-at-St.-Paul at the facility. No rsvp required, just show up between 5:00 and 6:00 pm to get questions answered and onsite familiarity before the shelter opens for the evening.

Information about occasional volunteering at St Paul Men’s Shelter can be found here: The updated St Paul WHO Volunteer Manual 2023-2024 >> Click Here


  • Between November 1 and March 31 (Winter Hospitality Overflow season), review what is involved in volunteering, and sign up for a shift SignUp.com

The contact information that you provide on the sign up will not be used for any other purpose. The site will provide you with a confirmation of your sign-up, as well as a two-day-ahead reminder of your shift.

  • Between April 1 and October 31, contact Outsiders Inn Volunteer & Resources Coordinator at [email protected] 

Confidentiality / Background Check

  • All volunteers must authorize a background check which Outsiders Inn will process. Allow 1 week lead time; this is valid for one (1) year. Do this online at www.outsidersinn.org
  • All volunteers must print, read and sign a Confidentiality Form, and bring that with them on their first volunteer shift. The confidentiality form will be kept on site and is valid for one (1) year.

Shelter Volunteering

At least one (1) Outsiders Inn staff person is onsite the entire time the facility is open. Sometimes there is an additional staffer or recurring volunteer. We welcome your participation. 

Evenings - Monday thru Friday, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm 

1 or 2 volunteers (1 youth aged 10–17 years old and accompanied by an adult may be an additional volunteer.) 

  • Plan to arrive on time for the shift. We’d like to show you around the facility and provide any announcements before the guests arrive for the evening. 
  • Dress comfortably and modestly. You will be walking and standing, and may or may not have much opportunity to sit (accommodations made for volunteers who have physical limitations.) Expect infrequent exposure to the outside temperature because the exterior doors are opened and closed, plus the living area of the shelter includes a partially-roofed outdoor courtyard. 
  • Park in the metered spaces along 14th Street or those on the east side of Franklin between 13th and 14th. Walk to the alley that runs south off of 14th Street and ends at a dumpster. Along the alley, there is a double door with a doorbell attached. Ring the bell and the staff will open, welcome you, and quickly show you around. 

Volunteer Activities may include these or similar activities as guided by staff:

  • Seek out Opportunities to Interact with Guests. These often happen in the hospitality room but also the day room, patio, or even in the hallways. Cards or an easy-to-play game (bingo has been a favorite, or Yahtzee or dominoes) may entertain some of the guests and provide opportunities for you to connect and interact with the guests. You can ask staff for guidance and games available. 
  • Setting up and Serving Meals. (as explained below).
  • Checking in Guests and signing them up for shower time. 
  • Monitor the shower schedule and remind guests when their shower time is approaching.
  • Hourly fire safety walks. Staff will show you locations to check and where to sign off that the fire walk was completed 
  • Coordinate and/or participate in guest chores. Staff may ask for assistance in coordinating guests' chores. Volunteers may assist guests with their chores but ultimately the guest is responsible for completing their chore. (Chores include washing dishes, loading the dishwasher, wiping tables, vacuuming, sweeping the patio, cleaning up the dayroom, etc)
  • Shelter laundry. We generally do not do guests' laundry unless staff approves.
  • Restocking bathrooms, laundry room, and pantry.
  • Complete Volunteer Log and include any comments or concerns. Good feedback is also welcomed.

Other ways to Volunteer 

If you are interested in providing a meal to St Paul Men's Shelter, details about counts and delivery time and place as well as the sign-up calendar are at www.mealtrain.com

If you are interested in volunteering on a recurring basis at St Paul Men’s Shelter or another site overseen by Outsiders Inn, or to be ‘on call’ for Severe Weather Shelters, please contact Outsiders Inn Volunteer & Resources Coordinator at [email protected] 

We invite you to come volunteer with us!