Before you volunteer, we are sure you may have a few questions. 

We have tried to answer these for you below, and look forward to meeting you at Wolverhampton Church Shelter soon! 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can volunteer?

Anyone over 18 who has a heart for the homeless! You will need to fill in an application form and find two character references. If you want to be a supervisor, you will need your two references to be from people in local church leadership. To volunteer please email churchsheltervolunteers@gmail.com 

2. Do you have to go to church to volunteer?

No! You just need to care about the homeless and be a good listener.  

3. Do you have to stay all night?

If you are part of the overnight team, you’d be expected to stay in the Shelter from 8pm to about 7am. There is an opportunity to get some rest as there are usually two camp beds for volunteers. Some volunteers do come in between 8pm and about 10.30pm to look after the guests, help serve them drinks and biscuits, and listen to their concerns. 

4. Can I help during the day?

Yes, we need people who can mentor the guests that we get to know and help them on their journey back towards employment and proper accommodation. If you are interested in doing this please get directly in touch with us (see contact information).

5. Do volunteers receive training?

Yes, all volunteers receive basic training.

6. Who is running the Church Shelter?

It is a church-led enterprise and run as a true partnership between two churches and relies on volunteers from many different walks of life. Please see full information under About Us. 

7. What are the opening times of the Shelter?

The doors open to guests between 9pm and 10pm and guests leave at about 7am.

8. Is the Shelter only open during bad weather?

No, it is open 7 days a week. The most important thing is to be able to provide rest and recuperation so that people can get some stability back into their lives and begin to build relationships. 

9. How do people get into the Shelter?

They need to engage with at least one of the other service providers in the City who are working to practically help the homeless. Provided they have engaged with another agency they can register for the Shelter weekday mornings at Broad Street between 9.00am and 11.00am.

10. How many people does it accommodate?

The maximum number is 20.    

11. Can women stay in the Shelter?

Of course. 

12. Who is paying for it?

It is mainly a mixture of private donations and support from the local business community. For 2017/2018 we have also received some money from Homeless Services at the City Council.  

13. Where does the money go?

The Shelter employs one full-time person to be the Volunteer Coordinator. Other expenses include rent, the consumption of items such as sleeping bags, emergency items for rough sleepers, drinks, biscuits. 

14. Do you ever refuse people staying in the Shelter?

We only have very simple rules. The main one is about behaviour. If anyone’s behaviour is disruptive and upsetting other guests we will usually ask them to leave. 


15. Can people bring dogs into the Shelter?

Unfortunately, we just cannot accommodate dogs – we simply don’t have the facility.

16. Can we donate clothing or bedding to the Shelter?

We are not able to handle donations of clothing or bedding. Clothes are best donated to the Good Shepherd shop in Bilston. The Good Shepherd ministry based at Darlington Street Methodist church does distribute emergency clothing supplies direct to people rough sleeping but they do not accept clothing donations there – it is all via Bilston.

17. Can we donate food to the Shelter?

The Shelter only really provides hot drinks and biscuits for the guests. We do not do any hot food and we are not geared to handle food donations. Anyone keen to donate food could get in touch with The Well, who operate the city’s foodbank (01902 256523), or with one of the city’s soup kitchens.