JHO Volunteer Roles

Note: New volunteers interested in these roles are not expected to take on all of the responsibilities or time commitments specific to each role. Role responsibilities can look different for each person.  The role descriptions below were written up by long-time JHO organizers, who have recently left the organization, to provide a clear description of their roles, as well as details about what responsibilities and time commitments those roles have entailed in the past. They are meant to serve as a guide/starting place for members staying with JHO working to figure out how the group will move forward and for new volunteers interested in being a part of that journey ❤

Training for volunteer roles will involve connecting volunteers to the various community partners, camp organizers, legal advocates, and government staff/representatives who we interact with in the course of our work.

Advocacy & Action Coordinators (Includes homelessness, tenant, and legislative advocacy). 3-5 hours per week. 5-10 during crisis situations. 

  • Regular community and encampment outreach.
  • Outreach as needed to specific camps during sweep situations or campaigns specific to a certain camp.
  • Talking/ coordinating with general outreach volunteers, residents, tenants, community partners, other advocacy organizations, and legal partners.
  • Campaign planning and strategizing.
  • Direct action planning and strategizing.
  • Coordinating needed direct action trainings.
  • Advocacy event planning and organizing.
  • Community education/workshops.
  • Meeting/negotiating with stakeholders involved in various advocacy campaigns.
  • Building partnerships and support networks.
  • Providing self-advocacy trainings, specifically for houseless and tenant organizers. 

Mitigation Site Appeals Advocate. 2-4 hours per week. 

  • Point of contact for residents evicted from the Mitigation Site. If resident(s) reach out about non-eviction related complaints, refer them to Advocacy & Action Coordinators.
  • Meet with resident(s) to collect information about their eviction and any incident(s) leading up to their eviction. 
  • Meet with witnesses to collect additional information, as needed.
  • Complete Appeals Form (created by Northwest Justice Project)
  • Communicate and coordinate with legal advocates, as appropriate and as needed (Northwest Justice Project, Columbia Legal Services, etc). 
  • Assist resident(s) as needed with requesting or filing for an appeal hearing. 
  • Assist resident(s) as needed with getting documentation from Catholic Community Services and/or the City of Olympia related to their expulsion and with preparing for the appeal hearing. 
  • If appropriate, advocate with Catholic Community Services and/or City of Olympia staff to de-escalate and advocate for alternative to eviction prior to appeal hearing. 
  • Assist the resident(s) and witness(es) with transportation to their appeal hearing, if needed. 
  • If requested, attend appeal hearing with resident and provide support, as needed.

General Outreach. 2-4 hours per week, 6-10 during crisis situations. 

  • Regular outreach to Thurston County encampments. Goal: Have enough folks doing outreach to check-in with most camps at least once per month.
  • Additional outreach to specific camps as needed, especially during sweep related situations.
  • Collaborate with and share information/resources with outreach workers from other partner service providers.
  • Talk with residents about advocacy related resources and needs.
  • Talk with residents about getting involved with JHO organizing and support them in doing so if they are interested.

Sweep Support (Legal) + General Legal Support. 0-2 hours per week (on avg.). 6-10 hours per week during sweep situations (usually lasting for a period of 2-4 weeks). 

  • Point of contacts for connecting encampment residents to legal support related to sweeps or other civil right violations. 
  • Outreach to camps/residents in need of this type of support. 
  • Collaborate, communicate, and strategize as needed with legal advocate partners (Northwest Justice Project (NJP), Columbia Legal Services (CLS), National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP), etc.)
  • Assist legal partners and residents with recording and collecting documentation and information needed for reasonable accommodations requests, Martin v Boise complaints, civil rights complaints/advocacy, sweep prevention, vehicle impoundment prevention, etc. 
  • Work with legal advocate partners to facilitate/host Know Your Rights workshops. 
  • Collaborate with legal partners and residents to carry out advocacy related to legal prevention of sweeps or other legal/civil rights related advocacy efforts (drafting letters, collecting statements, meeting/negotiating with stakeholders and landowners, reviewing documents, etc.)
  • Assist with research, as needed.
  • Coordinate presence of legal observers at sweeps. 

Public Communications. 2-5 hours per week. 

  • Social media and website management.
  • Email communications. 
  • Coordination/communication with external media outlets.
  • Writing (articles, press releases, open letters, literature for distribution).
  • Photography.
  • Graphic design/flyer design.
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