Long-term volunteers sit with Fr. John Adams on the steps of Gandhi House.
SOME's long-term live-in volunteer program began in 1985. The motivation for our volunteer program was and still is our intent to encourage generosity, selflessness, and community awareness within the volunteers by placing them in direct service to the poor of our nation's capital. In addition to an opportunity for service, the SOME volunteer program provides a communal or shared living situation for the volunteers.
Volunteers live in SOME's Gandhi House which is located near Catholic University in northeast Washington, DC. This shared living experience offers a unique balance of communal lifestyle and independence. Volunteers must obey house rules and are encouraged to share meals, chores, and experiences while also respecting one another's individuality and allowing for personal growth.
Long-term volunteers are involved in nearly all the aspects of SOME's program, such as medical and dental clinics, housing, rehabilitation, job training, addiction programs, elderly services, and clerical. Yet volunteers can be asked to serve as drivers, receptionists, office helpers, social workers, counselors, cooks, nurses, painters and janitors. The type of service assignment depends upon the needs of SOME, along with the match of gifts, ability and flexibility of the volunteer. All positions are considered important, responsible and equal.
SOME welcomes men and women, single, or under religious vows, 21 years of age and up to the volunteer program. In most cases, a college degree or equivalent is required.
The steps to becoming a long-term volunteer are as follows:
"Long-term volunteering is a chance to change lives and have your life be changed - all for the better. It helped me to understand how other people live. It helped me realize how the people I serve are not that different from myself. It encouraged me to count all my blessings, to live simply and to remember the poor wherever they may be."
"My year of working as a volunteer at SOME gave me invaluable experience in a new field. With the breadth of programs at SOME, I was able to combine my interests in direct service and systemic change. The training I received helped me transition from my service year to an amazing new job... at SOME."