Post # 1
A friend of mine volunteers at a homeless shelter locally. I asked him if they needed volunteers and he put me in contact with the volunteer coordinater, a woman. I called her and offered to hand out dinners, etc. and she said that they did not need that but they needed people to work the night shift. I just found out that the night shift means spending the night and that this is an all male shelter. My husband would not be able to accompany me. I called my friend and he assured me that this is safe but that I should call the volunteer coordinator and ask her questions if I was concerned. I called her and, honestly, she seemed offended and annoyed that was even calling her and asking if this was safe. She said “I wish you had thought of this before you offered to volunteer.” I explained that I was sorry, that I did not know that I would be the only woman and that it would be overnight. She told me that these guys were all nice and that I had nothing to worry about. I don’t want to back out, I really do want to help the cause, but I am a little anxious.
Post # 3
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
@abeenonymous: Well won’t someone have to stay with you the first few nights to show you the ropes?
I think your concerns are valid, and maybe this isn’t where you should be volunteering if that’s all they have available.
Post # 4
@mchitt329: there will be another male volunteer there so maybe I shouldn’t be too concerned. It just scares me that it is overnight and is with a bunch of men I don’t know. It’s not that I think that homeless people are all bad or dangerous. I know that many are just down on their luck- I have had friends who have been homeless. I just worry that there may be dangerous and or mentally ill people and that being the only woman could make me vulnerable
Post # 5
Also, I meant to post this in Not Wedding Related Section. Sorry bees.
Post # 6
I don’t think you’re wrong to feel nervous or uncomfortable about that situation. You’re not implying that they’re dangerous because they’re homeless. Rather, things can get out of hand for a female in an all-male environment in ANY situation. If the coordinator you spoke with can’t understand that, I wouldn’t feel bad about taking my volunteering services elsewhere.
Post # 7
It would bother me that as a volunteer, I was being made to seem like a bad guy. She really should just be gracious and accept your help in any capacity. You also have every right to have concerns. Personally I would not accept this particular volunteer position. I’m sure it’s probably safe but I wouldn’t be comfortable with it unless other people were there.
Post # 8
You know what, there is never anything wrong with trusting your own intuition. If you do not feel comfortable, then don’t do it. I imagine that they would find any monetary contribution you could make just as helpful as your time.
Post # 9
What a jerk! (The lady, NOT you!) She should have told you you’d be spending the night away from your fiance in an ALL MALE shelter! I don’t think that’s safe. There are people with mental handicaps and drug addictions there!
I wouldn’t feel safe doing that. I’d back out and find a library that needs a book shelver, or bake for the pregnant teen’s/battered woman shelter. You can help without putting yourself in a risky situation!
Post # 10
@BrandNewBride: this is how I feel. While there are many. many homeless people who are sober and healthy and who are homeless merely because of the bad economy, etc. there are also many who have mental illnesses and serious addictions. My heart goes out to them and they need our help, but I don’t know that spending the night with them is the safest way to do it.