Community members who have excellent communication skills and a drive to help others are invited to donate their time and skills on a recurring basis at St Paul Men’s Shelter or any of the other shelter sites overseen by Outsiders Inn. 

All volunteers are required to complete and submit a volunteer application that can be found at The volunteer application requires the prospective volunteer to provide general information and signatures on the Confidentiality Agreement and the Criminal Background Check Authorization. Once you’ve passed the background check and your application is accepted, information for volunteer onboarding will be sent to your email from the Outsiders Inn Volunteer Coordinator. If you are not contacted, please send an email to [email protected]. The contact information that you provide will not be used for any other purpose.

Background Check
Since we service a vulnerable population of people, we take extra care to ensure the safety of our guests. To be accepted into the Volunteer Program, our expectation is that all prospective volunteers submit to a criminal background check. Every volunteer will be searched on the Washington State Patrol Access to Criminal History (WATCH) and the U.S. Department of Justice Sex Offender web site (SMART). An infraction on the prospective volunteer’s criminal record, may not be cause for rejection.

Volunteer Training
Once the volunteer has been accepted into the program, they will be sent a Welcome email from the OI Volunteer Coordinator with next-step instructions. In a separate email, there will be a link to our Google Classroom Training for volunteer onboarding. In-Person training is available upon request. The volunteer will need to respond to the email and inform the Volunteer Coordinator if in-person training is requested.

Google Classroom Training
If the volunteer chooses the Google Classroom Training option, our expectation is that all modules are completed. All modules are topical videos with information to prepare you for volunteering with us. Training takes about one hour. Once complete, the volunteer will need to email the volunteer coordinator. The volunteer is welcome to sign-up for shifts while completing the modules. The volunteer will need to email [email protected] to sign up for a volunteer shift.

In-person Training
If the volunteer chooses the In-Person Training option; training will be held in the basement of St. Paul Lutheran Church. Volunteers can schedule in-person training with the Volunteer Coordinator. The training should be completed in one hour. All volunteers that attend the in-person training will be able to sign up for shifts after the class or they will need to email [email protected] to sign up for a volunteer shift.

If a volunteer is unable to attend their scheduled shift, then they need to email [email protected] or call (360-728-5758) to cancel. Please give notice several hours before the shift begins so that we can notify the shelter staff. 

Our guests are protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This law prohibits our workers and volunteers from relaying confidential information to other guests and any persons outside the shelter. Information that is conveyed directly from the guest is completely confidential. If you suspect that a person may do harm to themselves or others, then staff needs be informed immediately of your observations. 

Maintaining appropriate boundaries with clients is expected from both our staff and volunteers.

  • Romantic or personal relationships with clients is unethical and will result in immediate release from the volunteer program.
  • You may not accept gifts of any kind from current or former guests.
  • Volunteers are asked to leave their personal conflicts at home. The OI shelters are a safe environment for our guests. Any negative emotions are not welcome in these spaces.
  • Volunteers are not allowed to make purchases or give gifts to OI guests.
  • Exchange of phone numbers, addresses, social media profiles, email addresses, and other private information with guests is not permitted.

All of the shelter facilities in Southwest Washington are grateful for volunteers who help make a difference in the lives of the guests by assisting the staff, socializing with guests, and generally helping to maintain a healthy and safe environment. 
Thank you for your invaluable assistance in rendering care and hospitality to our guests.