Iowa Homeless Youth Centers- Volunteer Opportunities

Although in-person volunteerism is limited due to Covid-19, YSS relies on thousands of volunteers each year. If you are interested in volunteering, you are encouraged to fill out the volunteer application to be prepared for the day CDC guidelines allow in-person volunteerism.

Subject Matter Expert:

Do you have a specialized knowledge? If you have any special knowledge base that you would like to utilize for YSS, please let us know. This can be videography, plumbing, construction, electrical, legal expertise, writing, computer software, please become a YSS subject matter expert.

For questions, contact:
Sarina Flathers, YSS Volunteer Coordinator
515-233-3141 ext. 4476


Skills-based opportunities

On-going/Skills-based volunteers commit to a minimum of 3 months providing service that capitalizes on their personal talents, core business skills, experience, or education. Read below about some of the on-going opportunities! Please note weekend opportunities include cleaning or organizing as there are limited opportunities to interact with youth.  

Our ongoing opportunities are currently full!

Volunteers are matched with one of our youth in Post-Secondary Education Retention Program and serve as mentors . PSERP mentors are professionals who are connected in the community, enthusiastic about their careers, have excellent communication and listening skills, and are willing to meet with their mentee one hour a month at a location that is most convenient for both the mentor and mentee. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, click here to stay in touch with program updates and how you can become a mentor Fall 2020!

Tutors help youth who are pursuing their post-secondary education. Tutors will meet with youth whenever it is most convenient for both the tutor and youth at a location determined by both the volunteer and youth. Tutors generally meet a minimum of once a week with youth. Tutors must be age 21 and above. Tutors are needed for a wide variety of subjects.

Serving Meals
Volunteers will primarily help with preparing and serving a meal on site at our 612 location. This may include prepping and serving the meal with the chef,  eating with the youth, then assisting in clean up Monday through Friday.

Sorting donations
At 612 Locust is where we house our donation center. We are always looking to organize and manage it. With this being a large donation center, we recommend sorting donations for groups of 4 or more.

Childcare is provided part time at our Lighthouse facility. This would require you to work with small children while the mothers were either working, at school, or participating in a life skills course.

Youth Opportunity Center Volunteers
Volunteers can come and spend time in the space and engage the youth. This could include leading an art class, working on computer skills, talking, watching a movie, playing cards, etc.

Annual Event Volunteer Opportunities

Reggie’s Sleepout
Holiday Giving 
Be sure to check back for more information and how to volunteer!

Group Volunteers

Groups looking to volunteer at IHYC can get involved in opportunities that range from serving meals to staffing events to holding a donation drive. If you choose a donation drive we will talk to you about our most-needed items, and then coordinate a time for you to bring in your collected donations.

Group volunteer application
Register to donate food or make a meal!