“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ ” Mark 12:29-30
VOLUNTEER ROLE AND EXPECTATIONS:
The Atlanta Dream Center is a volunteer-driven ministry. We rely on the help of hundreds of volunteers each week to fulfill our mission to reach, rescue and restore men, women and children to know the glory of God. We seek to heal the broken hearted, ministering to the poor to set them free from transgressions and captivity. Our goal is to connect your hands of service with the heart of Jesus.
As a volunteer for the iAM program, you will play a relational and loving role with the people we serve. The individuals we encounter are in great need of life change, hope, and inspiration. It is important to our team that we love everyone exactly where they are. We do not pass judgment. Your role is to be a friend, to inform them of their options for help and to spread the love of Christ.
Prior to the time you will be spending with our team, we ask that you be in prayer for the men and women you will be ministering to. Most of these individuals are suffering from homelessness and addiction. Please pray that God will protect them and help provide wisdom and guidance through the adverse circumstances they encounter.
On behalf of the Atlanta Dream Center, I want to thank you personally for your desire to get involved in serving inner – city Atlanta. We look forward to you helping us with our iAM program.
The purpose of this handbook is to familiarize you with volunteer services here at Atlanta Dream Center iAM program. It will provide you with information about volunteer conditions, policies and procedures relating to your service. The information within this handbook applies to all volunteers of the iAM program. This handbook does not constitute employment, a promise of employment, or a contract between employee and employer at Atlanta Dream Center. This handbook must be read thoroughly and maintained at all times for information, references, and emergency. It provides valuable information retaining to all volunteer affects at ADC iAMP.
To reach, rescue and restore men, women and children to know the glory of God.
Purpose of iAM
Heal the brokenhearted, minister to the poor, and set the captives free. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
ATLANTA DREAM CENTER HISTORY
Atlanta Dream Center is a 501© (3) tax exempt organization that was founded in 2003 by Pastor Paul Palmer and family. A faith based organization that thrives to reach, rescue and restore; reach the lost, rescue those in need and restore the brokenhearted. By remaining in God’s presence, The Atlanta Dream Center is able to impact the lives of the lost and broken hearted, and restore them through faith and God’s love. We work with and organize more than 100+ volunteers to give hope to the hopeless. They contribute to the ADC in a number of ways, weather this is giving out food and coats to the hopeless or offering friendship and support. Volunteers at Atlanta Dream center are committed to passing on God’s love to those who are most in need. The Atlanta Dream Center is a volunteer driven organization where volunteer retention is of great importance. This volunteer manual will help the volunteer to know what to expect from the Atlanta Dream Center. It will also answer most questions that the volunteer will have about the organization and volunteer services.
iAM’s programs and services include the following:
• Weekly outreach known as compassion Night and Adopt a Block
• Incarceration Visitation
• Weekly group leaders for the hopeless
• Donation Drivers
• Temporary housing
• Case Managers
• Mentors/ Life Coach
• Resource Outreach
• Safety Drivers
• Secretary/Data Entry Personal
More information about individual outreach services are available upon request and as needed.
1. Volunteer Responsibilities
The volunteer is expected to perform the duties and responsibilities of their work assignment. Whether this is acting as a safety driver or facilitating meetings for bible study, volunteers are expected to have the skills, talents, and desire to perform the tasks required. Although the duties and responsibilities vary, all volunteers are encouraged to provide a service to community members. This includes helpimg brokenhearted by steering them toward the glory of God. This is only done by showing compassion, understanding, and good will on to others. Volunteers are expected to have good communication skills show a sincere interest in the desire to help people in need. General volunteer skills and responsibilities are listed below:
• Positive attitude
• Great communication
• Ability to inspire others
• Instill hope in the hopeless through God’s word
• Maintain polite and appropriate behavior
• Great guest and visitors with respect and politeness.
• Develop and manage meaningful relationships
• Participate in volunteer meetings and coordination
• Practice role model behaviors
• Assist other volunteers when needed
2. Skills Required
• Good oral and written communication skills, with ability to communicate with diverse populations.
• Professional demeanor
• Efficient people skills, including customer service, compassion, and kindness
• Organized with attention to detail
• Able to work independently or in groups.
• Follow directions
• Perform duties in a timely manner
• Ability to learn quickly and adapt to change
The iAM program provides placement to men and women who want to come off the street, who are suffering from homelessness and drug and alcohol dependency. We place clients into other programs depending on the needs of the client. We need volunteers to assist in the following:
Compassion Night/ Adopt a Block
The goal of Compassion Night or Adopt of Block is to build hope through food and nourishment. Like Jesus who fed fish and bread to thousands, Compassion Night is the give people the basic needs they need to survive. This is nutrient of the body and the spirit to instill hope and build relationships. It first began in 2003 to ensure that the homeless have their basic needs met- food. The role of and duties of Adopt a Block volunteers is to drive, prepare, and distribute food to homeless encampments and population. Building love through nourishment can build hope and relationships with God. Volunteers must be available every Thursday from 7pm to 1030pm.
Jail and Prison Visitations
The goal of Jail and Prison Assessments is to spread hope and love to individuals facing incarceration. This includes to provide hope, prayer, study lessons, Bible material, and compassion to prison inmates to bring them closer to God’s glory. Prison visitation program started in 2004 to spread God’s love to a lost community. Volunteers are needed Tuesdays from 4pm to 6pm to drive to prison facilities and transport material and hope.
The goal of Group Leaders is to speak to small groups of people spreading God’s word and hope to those in need. Group meetings began in 2003, to provide inspiration to homeless people showing them God’s love, mercy, and kindness. Volunteers are needed to be motivational speakers and encourage change in hopeless populations. Group leaders are not preachers, nor teach Bible Study. They spread the word and instill the message of God’s love and mercy in the people to inspire. Volunteers are needed Wednesday’s from 11am to Noon, to share their stories and build faith and courage in those unfortunate.
The goal of Donation Drivers is to give community members the nutrients and resources they need for survival. This includes good, clothing, hygiene items, and other supplies necessary to help the less fortunate. Drivers are not required to come in direct contact with community members. They are required to donate their time and services to pick-up and drop-off resources, supplies, and materials for community outreach. Volunteers are needed Tuesday thru Friday from 9am- 12pm to transport donations.
The goal of case management is to work as a life coach. They help individuals navigate into the next journey of their life. This includes getting individuals in contact with programs and resources for assistance inspire individuals to make life changes and important decisions for personal growth. In addition, Case Manager’s responsibilities include making appointments and transporting individuals to their destination points for intake, rescue, or recovery. Case Managers also conduct individual assessments. Assessments are used to find the perfect placement of community members. This can be placement into shelters, temporary housing, recovery programs, and more.
Mentors- The goal of mentors is to establish a role model relationship to individuals in need of support and guidance. This includes acting as a friend, or big brother/sister, during time of need. It requires volunteers to spend time with their mentee for at least 2 hours a week to provide general support and guidance through life’s journey. This includes listening, giving advice, and spending quality time with individuals who have no reliable support systems.
The goal of Resources Outreach is to find information, programs, and resources that can improve the quality of life for the brokenhearted. This includes contact information for distribution of services and fundraising initiatives. Weather this is to connect homeless families with homeless shelters, finding warm clothes, or large food donations, Outreach Programmers help to put Case Managers, Counselors, and community members in contact with a variety of resources. These include recovery programs, job assistance, healthcare providers, nutrition and hygiene, shelters, clothing, housing, and more. These are programs which can help the hopeless find hope from the support of community partners. Volunteers are needed from Monday thru Thursday 8am to 11am and 1pm to 5pm to make phone calls, maintain communication, support, and sponsors.
The goal of Safety Drives is to transport people in need to opportunities, information, and safety zones. This can be transporting individuals to safe environments, rescue centers, healthcare providers, career centers, educational resources, or recovery programs. Safety Drivers work to make sure that individuals get to the destination that can change their life. Getting to the important places, plays a big role in healing the hopeless. Showing service to others through faith and kindness demonstrates God’s glory for growth and encouragement in different ways. Volunteers are needed from Monday thru Thursday, from 9am to 11am and from 1pm to 4pm.
Secretary and Data Entry
The goal of Documentation and Data Entry volunteers is to handle and maintain Atlanta Dream Center secretary, data entry, and documentation. This includes filing, copying, answering phones, data entry, and other communications. Secretaries are needed Monday thru Thursday from 8am to 11am and from 1pm to 4pm. Document and Data Entry workers are responsible for showing understanding and compassion to community members and partners. They are required to have basic office skills and functions.
The goal of Barbers and Hairstylist is to inspire community members with hope and confidence for opportunities and a new beginning. They cut and style hair of people who are homeless and others in need. Barbers and stylist develop relationships with community members by helping them look their best on the outside, so they can feel their best on the inside. This is done through compassion and offering guidance and hope of God’s glory. Volunteers are needed every Monday from 9am to Noon.
iAM values your talents and wants to put them to use. Let’s give hope, mercy, and kindness to the people who need it most and make God’s glory be known to the heartbroken. With Atlanta Dream Center iAM Program, this can become a reality. Youth strengths are valued here at Atlanta Dream Center where it can be used to help others. Community members face many challenges such as addiction, homeless, domestic violence, and mental health that make living an act of daily survival. No matter how large or small, your time and talents can help save lives to help people find new meaning and purpose in life. This can only be done with the help of God your volunteer service.
Atlanta Dream Center Office and Headquarters: 652 Angier Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30308
Mail Address: P.O. Box 54537, Atlanta GA 30308
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday thru Friday 9:00am-5:00pm
Please schedule volunteer roles during these hours.
Contact List/ Important Phone Numbers:
Andrew Lallerstedt/ Executive Director of iAM program
Patrick Palmer/ Program Director
Office number: (404)-817-3502
All volunteers must complete a volunteer application. The job application will allow volunteers to lists their experiences and skills to better match volunteers with a department or group. All volunteers are considered. Applications must be complete with accurate information from the potential volunteer.
Drug and Alcohol Screening
All volunteers must agree to take and pass a drug screen test before beginning volunteering. Volunteers will be screened for a variety of illegal substances. This is to ensure the safety of community members, Atlanta Dream Center program and volunteer services. The results of the drug and alcohol screening will not affect a volunteers potential to work with Atlanta Dream Center in the future.
Acknowledgement of receipt
All volunteers need to sign the acknowledgement of receipt prior to beginning service.
Background/Criminal Records Checks
In accordance with COA standards, volunteers for ongoing positions are required to undergo a background/criminal records check and sex offender registry check prior to beginning service. This is done to ensure that safety of community members, workers, and volunteers of Atlanta Dream Center. The results of the background check do not affect a volunteers potential to work with Atlanta Dream Center in the future. ADC encourages volunteer efforts from all members coming from different walks of life. It is an added precaution to protect members for harm and danger.
All volunteers are shall receive an orientation and training as a part of the volunteer process. Orientation includes one 4 hour orientation session which occurs every first and third Saturday of the month, from 9am to Noon. To complete the orientation process, volunteers are required to complete at least 4 hours (or one day) of training or shadowing at their duty location.
Each volunteer shall be given an introductory overview and about Atlanta Dream Center, this includes mission, purpose, and introduce volunteers to offices and facilities. The orientation will include volunteer roles and expectations. Volunteers will receive insight on community members they serve. This includes general information about homeless populations, the type of individuals they may face such as those who are drug addicted or face mental illness. Orientation will encourage volunteers to serve with a positive attitude that encourages others through understanding, compassion, goodwill, and faith. This includes acceptance of others experiences or differences. Furthermore, volunteers are taught and encouraged to have healthy boundaries and relationships with community members.
New volunteers will be given a confidential agreement form. Volunteers must maintain community members confidentiality at all times. Additional contracts are also signed to show intent and commitment to Atlanta Dream Center and volunteer service. This includes non-disclosure of information agreement, statement of purpose for good intent, and commitment to the Christian faith. Volunteers must acknowledge that there is only one God and announce Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. This insures the safety of community members and protects the values of Atlanta Dream Center. Further procedures include, background check, waiver against drug and alcohol use, and identification information. A copy of identity and other documents will be required before volunteers begin training.
To discontinue your volunteer service at Atlanta Dream Center, please contact the volunteer coordinator. Volunteers should give a 2 weeks’ notice to the volunteer coordinator so that appropriate arrangements can be made. As a volunteer, you have the right to terminate your volunteer service for any reason. Atlanta Dream Center respects this right.
Atlanta Dream Center may terminate volunteer services for any reason. When appropriate, volunteers will be given a notice when services are no longer needed. However, volunteer services may be terminated immediately when a volunteer violates policy, agreements, or duties. This includes violations which put the service Atlanta Dream Center and/or community members at risk. Termination of a volunteer will be done respectfully with explanation and examples from the volunteer’s supervisor. If volunteers violate the terms of service, they will be given up 3 warnings. If volunteers fail to adhere to these warnings, volunteer services may be terminated.
Volunteers for the iAM program should dress appropriately at all times. This includes casual, street, and/or athletic clothing that ensures mobility and comfort. Clothing should not interfere with job duties or performance. Clothing that is too tight, too big, or revealing should not be worn. Clothing should be clean and to show a positive reflection of ADC volunteers. All volunteers are encouraged to wear jeans, slacks, or athletic pants, tennis shoes or sneakers, and a t-shirt. Volunteers should not where brands, statements, or logos on their clothing which may be offensive to others. Atlanta Dream Center volunteers are discouraged from wearing clothing that is revealing, inappropriate, distracting, enticing, or does allow the volunteer to complete his or her duties. Clothing must be worn comfortably. Attire should not affect volunteer’s safety such as clothing with loose strings or sharp objects. Volunteers are encouraged to dress in appropriate professional attire that is modest and coincides with work at Atlanta Dream Center.
Atlanta Dream Center works to help the hopeless and heartless throughout the year. This includes holidays. Although volunteers are needed during this special time, the Atlanta Dream Center offices are facilities are closed on the following days. Volunteers working during the Holiday must contact their Volunteer Coordinator to make special arrangements for meeting place, times, and volunteer work needed. The Altlanta Dream Center is closed on the following days:
• New Year’s Eve
• New Year’s Day
• Martin Luther King Day
• Lincoln’s Birthday
• Good Friday
• Independence Day
• Labor Day
• Memorial Day
• Christmas Day
To ensure for a safe and healthy environment for everyone smoking is prohibited inside the building. This includes offices, dining area, restrooms, and common areas. Smoking is also prohibited within 200 feet of the Atlanta Dream Center office building. It is important to eliminate exposure to the toxic substances produced by tobacco smoke and encourage role model behavior. Volunteers are encouraged to lead by example and discouraged from smoking while performing volunteer services.
The Atlanta Dream Center facilities are for business purposes only. Business conducted in the Center must be oriented to serve the community. This includes brokenhearted and hopeless communities that are in need of help and assistance. The business center, including its facilities, offices, and resources are not available to volunteers for personal use. No resources or materials may be removed from the facility without permission from the Volunteer Coordinator.
The iAM program is an equal opportunity partner; working to place volunteers in programs that serve the community. Volunteers are placed in programs where their strengths and talents can be put to its best use to help others. iAM program does not show favor or discrimination to volunteers and their volunteer placement. All people are encouraged to volunteer and will not be turned away according to their differences. These include differences and discrimination according to age, sex, race, ethnicity, disability, background, sexual orientation, title, status, or religion. Although Christian beliefs are encouraged, volunteers are not required to be Christians to volunteer. All volunteers will be treated equally and with fairness Inform the Executive Director of the iAM program or your volunteer coordinator if you believe this policy has been violated.
The Atlanta Dream Center strives to maintain a quality environment free from harm, danger, violence, intimidation, fear, or insult. We expect all volunteers and employees to conduct themselves with dignity and with respect for fellow volunteers, employees, donors, clients and visitors, community members, sponsors, and community partners. Harassment of others based on age, gender, race or national origin, disability, sexual identity, or any other reason will not be tolerated. The relationships at Atlanta Dream Center must be healthy and appropriate. Volunteers are encouraged to establish healthy boundaries and relationships at all times. Sexual relationships between volunteers and community members are discouraged. Relationships between volunteers and community members must be based on friendship and hope. Incidents which make others feel excluded or harassed will be taken serious. To report an incident of harassment please contact Atlanta Dream Center Executive Director your Volunteer Coordinator.
All volunteers are to act appropriately at all times while volunteering for the iAM program. Volunteers are discouraged from using harsh language such as cursing. They are encouraged to establish and develop helping relationships between volunteers and community members. Interactions must be positive to instill hope and faith in people in need. This includes appropriate language, interactions, relationships, that can encourage others to find God’s glory. Interactions with the public are a reflection of Atlanta Dream Center. As a result, volunteers must show good will and intent to help others. They are discouraged from speaking negatively about individuals or other organizations. This includes maintaining confidentiality on information about Atlanta Dream Center and the community members they serve.
All information regarding clients, former clients and future clients of the iAM Program must remain private and confidential. This includes information that volunteer may be given access to or learned on the field. A volunteer shall not, at any time disclose of any information about Atlanta Dream Center community members. This even includes names of members in contact with the iAM Program. Volunteers may not disclose information regarding, documents, files, records, conversations, or similar materials.
Due to the nature of the work at Altnat Dream Center, volunteers will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. Volunteers are expected you to abide to the rules and regulations at Atlanta Dream Center. Signing this agreement is to acknowledge ADC policy. It is an agreement to refrain from the unauthorized use or disclosure of any proprietary information.
Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information violates policy and a serious ethical violation. Individuals accused of breaking confidentiality may receive disciplinary action. Disciplinary action includes a verbal and written warning against policy violations leading up to termination of services.
Volunteers who believe they are a victim of discrimination or harassment, must file a grievance within 30 days of the alleged discriminatory action. A complaint must be in writing, containing the name and address of the person’s filing the complaint. The grievance form is available in the main office. A written decision on the grievance will be issued no later than 30 days. Forms must be completed and passed down to the Executive Director, Volunteer Coordinator, or any manager or supervisor at Atlanta Dream Center.
It is at the discretion of the volunteer how many hours they would like to schedule. To schedule hours go to http://www.atlantadreamcenter.com click on the “Get Involved” tab scroll to the bottom of page and sign up on the calendar. Volunteers are also welcome to come into the Atlanta Dream Center located at 652 Angier Ave NE Atlanta, Ga 30308. Volunteers can receive onsite and firsthand information about volunteer programs and information scheduling.
Meals and Breaks
Meals and Breaks can be taken in the dining area of The Atlanta Dream Center or off site. All volunteers are welcome to bring their own meals. While working on-site, volunteers may receive hot meal prepared by the kitchen staff during lunch and dinner hours. Please refer to the kitchen schedule for lunch and dinner times. Lunch breaks should not exceed an hour. Volunteers can take a lunch break only after completing 4 hours of consecutive service to the public. Short breaks should not exceed 15 minutes and can be taken after two hours of volunteering services. Volunteers must have their break schedules verified and approved by site supervisor or coordinator to ensure organization and staffing.
All accidents should be reported immediately to the staff person, supervisor, or volunteer coordinator. In case of emergency, you are required to make a verbal statement to the staff person and complete an incident report in writing:
• During medical emergencies, volunteers are encouraged to call 911 to treat against death or injury
• First Aid Kits are located throughout ADC. They are kept in the supply closet found in each office marked by the “Medical Supply Sign” above the door. First Aid Kits can also be found in some off-site areas. Furthermore, all supervisors and volunteer coordinators have access to First Aid Kits in their vehicle or person for off-site emergencies.
• Additional emergencies such accusations, accidents, and incidents must be reported to the appropriate ADC authority. This includes the executive director and volunteer coordinator to be provided in writing.
Atlanta Dream Center Rules
Atlanta Dream Center is a zero tolerance facility. The organization does not except or facilitate violence or criminal activity. This includes the following rules listed below:
• No drugs or alcohol. Volunteers and community members must refrain from the consumption of drugs or alcohol during service. In addition, drugs and alcohol are not allowed on ACD facilities.
• Violence will not be accepted at all times. This includes no fighting, physical aggression, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, or slander is allowed on the premises.
• Volunteers are not allowed to bring friends or family to work. Visitors must be approved through the application process if they want to volunteer their service to ADC. Community members may not bring visitors to the ADC facilities as well. Visitors must be approved by the site coordinator. All community and faculty members are restricted from having overnight guest or visitors to the facility after hours.
• No stealing will not be tolerated and prohibited. The resources found at Atlanta Dream Center come from sponsors and donations. These resources must be used to help individuals in the community they service. Volunteers must receive approval from site coordinator before taking home objects or resources obtained from at ADC.
• Although volunteers offer their service to the community without compensation. Volunteers must follow and adhere to their schedules. Volunteers must notify their supervisor or coordinator if they are late or cannot keep their schedule. Community members must also follow the schedule provided them. This means going to scheduled meetings, appointments, and keeping curfue in order to maintain community assistance with the ADC program.
• Community members with access to temporary housing and shelter at ADC must follow the rules of the ADC facility. All temporary housing residents must report back to ADC by 9pm every night Monday thru Sunday. Violating these rules can cause members to loose temporary housing.
Community Members must follow basic rules and guidelines while in the ADC program. These include:
• No smoking outside of designated area. Designated smoking areas are located in the parking lot.
• Clean up after yourself/ maintain good hygiene. All community members are given access to hygiene supplies for self-maintenance. Hygiene is encouraged for all ADC community members to improve general health. Hygiene can be maintained in respective areas. Please contact site coordinator for the location of these facilities.
• No sleeping or loitering in the common area and lobby. ADC is a business facility and must be treated as such. Therefore, loitering, panhandling, and sleeping openly is discouraged from community members.
• Community members and ADC volunteers are encouraged to be respectful of others at all times. This includes refraining from offensive language, rude conduct, or aggressive behavior. Members of ADC are must treat each other with kindness, treating others who you would want to be treated.
• Quiet hours are observed during afterhours. This is pertaining to community members seeking ADC services. During through the week, Sunday-Thurs from midnight to 6am & weekends, Friday thru Saturday from 1am to 8am.
• Please use COMMON SENSE respect individuals’ personal space.
• No panhandling, sharing, bartering, or borrowing of money, cigarettes, food, hygiene, clothing, etcetera. This can encourage criminal behavior, misunderstanding, and even violence between community members. Holding and borrowing individual items can cause unnecessary conflict and disagreements. Such behavior is not allowed at ADC.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q- How long can I volunteer?
A-It is your choice. We are a volunteer-driven ministry, and rely on the help of hundreds of volunteers each week to fulfill our mission to heal the broken hearted.
Q-Do I have to have a college degree to volunteer?
A-iAM Program does not require that volunteers have a college degree.
Q-What Skills are required?
A-Experienced volunteers are wanted but is not necessary, the staff and site supervisor will teach you what you need to know.
Q-Is there a minimum age requirement?
A-Over 21 preferred for some opportunities but is not required
Q-What if I still have questions that’s not covered?
A-Don’t hesitate to contact The Atlanta Dream Center if you have any further questions by email at http://www.atlantadreamcenter.com, Or by phone at 404-817-3502. Thank You for your interest in volunteering with us!
Q- Do you take interns?
A-Yes. We have had many interns
Q-Is there an age limit?
A-Yes 15 to go out on compassion night and accompanied by a parent or adult
Q-Are there any other location that I can volunteer for iAm at The Atlanta Dream center?
A-No not at this time.
Q-How can I get more involved?
A-Look at volunteer opportunity in this manual and on the website under “Get Involved”