Volunteering for Homeless & Hunger Charities

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Homeless and hunger relief charities work tirelessly to improve the lives of those living without basic human necessities such as food, clothing and shelter.

People find themselves homeless and/or hungry for countless reasons including poverty, family neglect, drug addiction, and/or following a disaster or emergency. In these situations, it’s often only the kindness of others that gets people through.

If you’re passionate about helping those less fortunate, there are several ways that you can volunteer your time. From helping at a local soup kitchen to becoming a mentor, here are some ways you can get involved with homeless and hunger relief charities. 

What kind of roles are available?

Professional Volunteer

If you have a professional background in a healthcare field (medicine, dentistry, optometry) or even in beauty therapy then why not volunteer to offer health advice and basic treatment to the homeless through charities such as Crisis?

Crisis runs schemes at certain times of year, for example, Christmas, where they welcome homeless people into their centres and offer a range of free services to help set them up for the year ahead. Hours and commitment for roles such as these are usually variable and can be discussed with the charity.


Mentoring roles usually last for at least a few months and require you to commit to at least a few hours, or one day a week. You’ll work with homeless people through charities such as Shelter to provide them with emotional and practical support in areas such as housing, finance and debt intervention.

The aim of this role is to help homeless people get off the streets and back into society where they’ll hopefully thrive. This is a powerful opportunity, which can help to restore people’s lives.

Soup Kitchen/Homeless Shelter Volunteer

Volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter is a straightforward practical role that will make a huge difference to the homeless and hungry. You’ll be cooking, preparing, and serving food to individuals who may not have had a proper meal in days.

Soup kitchens are charity run, set up and coordinated by passionate people who care about providing people’s basic right to food. The People’s Kitchen, which was founded by 70 year old Alison Kay after she was particularly moved by the death of a homeless man, is an example of this. Now she regularly recruits volunteers to join her on her mission.

What does a Crisis Volunteer think about their experience?

Which charities can I support?

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