UPDATE: Preventing hunger during COVID-19 crisis

For the safety of our volunteers, staff and diners, the Free Dining Room has developed a new system of providing bagged lunches to our community that is in compliance with social distancing requirements and allows St. Vincent de Paul Society to continue feeding our neighbors without interruption. We also now have two hand washing stations in front of the dining room.

Together we have provided free meals daily since 1981, and we will not stop!

Hundreds of bag lunches are distributed each day at our 820 B Street location in San Rafael. Any individual or groups that want to volunteer to make a minimum of 50 bag lunches should email volunteer@vinnies.org to coordinate and meet this need.  Check back here for updates on our Dining Room volunteer policy – thank for your support and patience!

SVdP is also working with the County of Marin to help get our most vulnerable clients without housing into motel rooms to protect them from the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We will keep you updated on this and ask that if you are able to make a financial donation of any amount, please visit www.vinnies.org/give-help.

Please stay safe and be assured that our Vinnie’s team is working around the clock to continue to improve and adapt our services for Marin’s most vulnerable citizens.


Volunteer Opportunities

The St. Vincent de Paul Society is proud to be a volunteer-driven organization. We depend on capable volunteers to assist us with delivering critical services to the people who come to us for help.

Why are volunteers important?

  • We serve more than 500 meals every day of the year
  • Handle about 50 requests per week at our homeless prevention Crisis Help Line
  • And assist more than 75 homeless clients each week at our Housing Help Desk.

Volunteer FAQs

How do I apply to volunteer?

Step 1: Fill out our online Volunteer Application

Step 2:

Send an email to volunteer@vinnies.org to schedule a personal orientation.

Our orientation provides more information about our services as well as the various volunteer positions and you’ll learn how you can schedule your time online.

What hours are available for volunteering?

Volunteers are welcome in our Free Dining Room from 6:30am-1:30pm, seven days per week; and in our administrative offices upstairs from 9am-3 pm from M-F.

What are the best parking options?

The best public parking garage is located on the corner of 3rd and B Streets.  We strongly suggest that you park in this garage, because it is easy to forget about a parking meter while volunteering and can result in a costly parking ticket.  Metered parking is available, but is limited to 2-hours. Free 4-hour on-street parking is located nearby, if you drive past Safeway on B Street to the Albert Park area.

What rules apply to volunteers?

1. All volunteers must sign in and out each day to comply with our record keeping requirements.

2. Volunteers are subject to the same rules of conduct and confidentiality which apply to paid staff, including those that apply to non-discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. We require all volunteers to act in a responsible and professional manner when providing services to our clients.

3. While we encourage you to be a compassionate listener, agency rules do not allow staff members or volunteers to give cash or other material aid to our clients. Staff members and volunteers are also prohibited from giving clients a place to stay, even for one night. Instead, staff members and volunteers are trained to help guide guests to the appropriate resources available to them that will ensure they receive the best long-term solution that is possible.

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