Friendly Visitor Guidelines
Transitioning individuals and families into housing isn’t as simple as giving
them the keys and wishing them well. We know that new residents will have questions and needs that have to be supported as they settle in. Because everyone is different and so are their life situations, A Home asks for “friendly visitor” volunteers to check in on and work with newly housed people. The kinds of things friendly visitors can help with include job searches and applications, grocery store runs, doctor visits, and finding general household items that are needed.
A Home asks these volunteers to check in once every two weeks during the first month or two of placement. This is helpful in getting some of the home furnishings, linens, and kitchen supplies newly housed people might need to fully set up a comfortable living space. Many of these items can be found by reaching out to our volunteer contact list or on local social media. There are a lot of generous donors out there.
There are a number of resources available that can be passed along to residents to make them more independent. One aspect of need that is discouraged is providing financial support to tenants. Any funds that might be received should be directed through A Home for distribution.
Most important is building a connection with the residents to show you care about them and want to be supportive.
If you are looking for a meaningful volunteer experience, consider being a Friendly Visitor for A Home For Everyone In DeKalb. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Our clients might have questions as they get settled and we appreciate you acting as a contact person. We don’t expect that you will be able to answer all of their questions or help with every need and so we have numerous resource sheets that we can provide you with. Clients might also want help with job and apartment applications.
Here are some guidelines:
1. Try to check in with your client once every two weeks in the first month of placement. Your goal with these check-ins is to make sure people are getting settled, have a way to get furnishings, linens, kitchen items. (We offer families the possibility of the Atlanta Furniture Bank but if they don’t qualify, they might need things.) We have found that many items can be found by reaching out to neighborhood groups or other civic organizations. Or, let us know a need and we will ask our volunteers and post on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ahomeforeveryoneindekalb
2. After your partner is settled in, check in every 4 weeks up to 6 months. Email or texting is fine. You might want to gently ask about goals and barriers and ask if support is needed.
3. Keep in mind that we have numerous resource sheets for every need such as jobs, food pantries, clothing closets, ID etc. We can easily send to you or directly to the family.
4. You are encouraged not to make financial gifts directly to tenants. If you receive financial donations from friends for the family, please direct those through us for distribution. If tenants ask for money, refer them to the person who housed them or someone at: email@example.com
5. You may feel that you have advice or help that your partner can benefit from. That is good but understand that they may have priorities or obligations that they do not feel able to share with you. You can offer specific help or let them know what skills you have that they may find useful but if they do not follow up, understand that what you think they need and what they want may be different and that is what makes the world go round.
6. Please keep us at “A Home” aware of any issues that you feel we should know about. Also, feel free to reach out to us at any time.