Volunteer Agreement

As a volunteer of Mercy House volunteers are expected to maintain the highest level of moral, ethical and professional conduct while at the agency site. Volunteers will not engage in verbal abuse of sexual nature, jokes and stories of a sexual nature, and or any type of sexual interaction, with a Mercy House client or staff.

Acceptance and Appointment

Service as a volunteer with Mercy House shall begin with an official notice of acceptance or appointment to a volunteer position. Notice may only be given by Community Engagement Specialist or Associate Development Director. No volunteer shall begin performance of any position until they have been officially accepted for that position and have completed all necessary screening and paperwork. At the time of final acceptance, each volunteer shall complete all necessary enrollment paperwork and shall receive a copy of their job description and agreement of service with Mercy House.

Relationships with Clients
Volunteers are prohibited from developing dual relationships with any client they meet through their volunteer involvement at Mercy House. Examples of dual relationships include (but are not limited to) a volunteer entering into a business, romantic, or sexual relationship with a client. Soliciting clients for your business is strictly prohibited. Mercy House volunteers are not allowed to be named as having authority to make decisions for a client under any type of power of attorney or other legal procedure. This includes, but is not limited to, powers of attorney for medical care or finances. Volunteers matched with Mercy House clients through Mercy House are not allowed to assume responsibility for custodianship or guardianship issues for any client or for a member of the client’s family.
Food & Other Substances
Volunteers will not consume any food items or drinks supplied by Mercy House while volunteering. Food and drinks are purchased solely for the consumption by our homeless clients. Volunteers must also commit to not consuming any type of illicit drugs on Mercy House premises while volunteering on behalf of this agency.
Volunteers will not judge any individual’s race, disability, religious preference, sexual orientation, color, age, veteran status, citizenship, ancestry, national origin or gender.
Religious Conviction
Mercy House does not condone the recruitment of its clients for religious intent.
Volunteer Boundaries
Volunteers are not permitted to loan or give money to clients, should not meet with clients outside of the Mercy House Shelters without permission from program staff, and are not allowed to drive clients in their vehicles.
Mercy House relies heavily on our volunteers, therefore, we take your commitment very seriously. If you sign-up for a shift and miss your shift without removing yourself from the calendar or do not give at least a 2 day notice you may be removed from any future shifts after the second offense.
Age Restrictions
The program you are signing up to volunteer at can be a volatile environment and we do not permit anyone who is homeless or men and women with criminal offenses to volunteer. Minimum age requirements:
  • Access Centers, Navigation Centers and Shelter programs require that volunteers are at least 18 years of age; exceptions may be available for volunteers 15-17 years of age.
  • HomeAid Family Care Center may 13 years of age with at least one adult for every three minors.
  • Volunteering where clients are not present - no age requirement, but will need approval by Volunteer Associates, Community Engagement Coordinator, or Community Engagement Manager.
Liability Release
In making this application to volunteer my services. I agree and understand that in is my responsibility to take my breaks and end my shift on time and any failure to do so is of no fault of Mercy House and Mercy House staff. I also understand that I will assume all risks of injury occurring to me while on the premises of any of your facilities, or any injury to me while rendering voluntary services to a client and/ or Mercy house. Since I am not an employee of this program, I understand I am not covered by Workman’s Compensation. I further agree that if any services involve transportation of person, I will carry adequate liability insurance on my automobile and release Mercy House of any liabilities in case of an accident. It is also my understanding that a routine criminal background check may be conducted on volunteers and the results would be held confidential. It is not routine for volunteers to give out personal information such as home address and telephone. If I chose to do so, Mercy House will not be held liable for any problems that may arise as a result of doing so.
Access and Confidentiality Agreement
I agree not to divulge any information to any person in regard to clients obtained in the course of my association with Mercy House. I further agree not to publish, and generally not to make public any personal information regarding persons who have received services that would enable identification of individuals.
I recognize that unauthorized release of confidential information including any photos or videos of clients or the site itself may make me subject to a civil action under the provisions of the California Welfare and Institutions Code.
I understand the expectations to client rights to confidentiality as mandated by law in the following instances:
  • If the client threatens great bodily harm or death to another person or him/herself
  • If a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena
  • If child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse or neglect of a minor

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