Shelter House

Website: Shelter House – More than a roof and a bed (

Mission: Our mission is to provide safe shelter and help people improve the quality of their lives as they move beyond homelessness. Shelter House is a non-profit organization that has provided housing and supportive services to people experiencing homelessness since 1983.

Location: Iowa City (68 miles from Grinnell College)


Needs: Shelter House volunteers donate over 2,500 hours of their time and talent each year and are the backbone of our daily work. When you volunteer at Shelter House, you help make our organization more efficient, provide meaningful support for our various departments and clients, and help strengthen our community through awareness and advocacy.

  • Front Desk Support
    Available Monday–Friday between 6am–10pm, and Saturday/Sunday from 8am–11am. Duties include answering phones and directing calls, explaining programs and services to new clients and community members over the phone or in person, and doing laundry. This position works closely with our Shelter Coordinators.
  • Donations
    Volunteers help with receiving and sorting in-kind donations and organizing the storage areas. This position works closely with the Volunteer Coordinator. *Same times as front desk support.
  • Job Lab
    Shifts are available Monday–Friday from 8am–10am to help individuals search for employment opportunities online, apply for jobs, and create resumes. Job Lab volunteers must be comfortable working one-on-one with clients and possess basic computer skills. Resume writing skills are helpful but not required. This position works closely with our Employment Case Manager.
  • Clerical
    Flexible shifts are available Monday–Friday between 8am–5pm. Duties include data entry, shredding, sorting paperwork, and organizing files. This position works with staff from various departments.
  • Winter Shelter
    From December–March, Shelter House manages a satellite low-barrier Winter Emergency Shelter which is open to anyone who needs a warm, safe place to sleep. Volunteers assist staff in supervising the space, which may include crisis intervention and conflict resolution. Additional duties include distributing winter clothing, managing food service, and facilitating recreational activities. Shift times and duration are flexible, but all shifts take place between 5pm–8am.



  • One-time events: no
  • Ongoing: yes
  • Groups possible? One-time projects can include fundraising, deep cleaning our donation garage, cleaning out shelter house vehicles or painting a room. Donation drives can be for blankets, socks, underwear, hygiene products including deodorant, lotion, lip balm, baby wipes, and more.

When is service needed:  Year-round.  Our busiest seasons are winter (October-March), and summer (May-August).

Number of hours: flexible hours, as much or little as is possible for the volunteer.


  • In-person: yes
  • Hybrid in-person/virtual possible: no
  • Fully virtual possible: no


Background check required: yes

Training supplied: Yes, as an employee there is a two-week onboarding phase with ongoing training provided. As an intern/volunteer there is onboarding to the agency and on the task at hand.

Equipment or logistics supplied: We have computers and phones for people to use once they arrive on premises.


How to apply: E-mail

Contact: Kristi Clarida, Human Resources, (319)-259-7338,,


Operation information: Since 1983, Shelter House has provided safe shelter and helped people improve the quality of their lives as they move beyond homelessness. We began in an old home in Iowa City with a capacity of 29 sleeping spaces including beds, couches, and mats on the floor. Today, Shelter House operates a 70-bed emergency shelter in addition to four homes and an apartment building through which we provide over 60 permanent supportive housing units. We focus on programs and support services including housing, employment, and mental health recovery that help hundreds of adults, children, and families each year to get back on their feet. We aim to be a voice for systemic community change through excellence in service, financial stewardship, and the development of strong community partnerships.

Address: 429 Southgate Avenue Iowa City, IA 52240, Iowa City

If you are with this organization and need to update your listing, please access our update form on this page: For Community Partners