SLS: Hunger & Houselessness Focus Serve Your City Team Lead with the Student Community Engagement Center (2022-23 school year)

Open Opportunity


The Student Community Engagement Center is the hub for student civic engagement at Portland State University. Our Serve Your City *Series* opportunities are designed to engage students in multi-week service projects with a specific community partner, allowing students to dig in deeper and return to the same organization multiple times in a term or year.

This position is one of the options for Portland State's Student Leaders for Service program. Please apply to the Student Leaders for Service program to express interest in this opportunity. To access the application to apply for SLS for the the 2022-23 school year, please visit

Are you passionate about serving the Portland community and supporting a team of PSU students working to do the same? Make a difference by stepping up as a Serve Your City Series lead in the area of Hunger & Houselessness!

Our Serve Your City *Series* opportunities are designed to engage students in multi-week service projects with a specific community partner, allowing students to dig in deeper and return to the same organization multiple times in a term or year. Serve Your City Team Leads will help support the development and facilitation of these weekly service opportunities.

Hunger & Houselessness Focus Community Partner(s): Our likely community partner for the 2022-23 school year will be Blanchet House, located in Old Town / Chinatown, a short MAX ride or longer walk from campus. Blanchet House has enjoyed having a PSU group serve for a regular Saturday lunchtime shift from 11am - 1pm. Availability on Saturdays from 10:30am - 2:30pm would be ideal. Afternoon clothing closet shifts are also an option. We may also find opportunities to partner with other community partners throughout the year, based on community partner and student leader interest.

The Hunger & Houselessness Serve Your City Team lead will serve from Fall - Spring to help coordinate, recruit, onboard, and take on weekly leadership of their volunteer team. Depending on timing considerations and community partner preference, team leads may begin leading their teams right away in Fall term, or they may spend Fall focused on getting to know their organizations and developing a student recruitment plan, and then will launch their teams in Winter and Spring terms.

The Serve Your City Team Lead will be responsible for the following:

  • Work with the Serve Your City Student Coordinator to plan for and coordinate a Serve Your City: Series opportunity focused on their specific issue area

  • Support marketing, outreach, and social media coordination to promote program engagement

  • Assist in the onboarding and orientation/training of Serve Your City Series volunteers

  • Provide leadership support and mentorship for Serve Your City Series volunteers during weekly or bi-weekly shifts

  • Lead team reflections and debriefs at the close of each shift

  • Develop and/or implement educational discussions and activities for students to learn more about the issue area they are serving. 

  • Attend bi-weekly organizational planning meetings with Student Coordinator and other Team Leads

  • Depending on the placement, serve as transportation lead to help students get to and from the service site from PSU. This may look like taking public transport together to and from campus, or getting certified to drive for PSU so you can transport students to and from campus in a program-sponsored Zipcar.

Orientation and Training:

Serve Your City Team Leads will participate in some team lead training with the Student Community Engagement Center between mid-September and early October, as well as going through any required orientation and training of the community partner partner (Blanchet House and any other organization we may be working with).

Skills and Knowledge Required:

  • Have prior volunteer and/or student leadership experience
  • Have prior knowledge and the desire to learn about the the issue of Hunger & Houselessness
  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty/staff, community partners, and peers
  • Serve as primary contact-person for Serve Your City partner sites
  • Serve as primary contact-person and GivePulse support for student volunteers
  • Desire to develop leadership skills and support your peers through training, service reflection, and discussion
  • Interest in and ability to facilitate conversations about the issues of Hunger & Houselessness in our community with your team members
  • Willingness to attend all required trainings, orientations and organizational meetings
  • Available for weekly organizational planning meetings

Benefits of this Positions: 
  In this position, you will gain experience both serving as a regular volunteer at your organization and the opportunity to develop and hone your leadership skills as the team lead. You'll gain experience in recruitment, group facilitation and communication, leading project reflections, and working the admin side of GivePulse to manage your team. Depending on the organization you work with, you'll get to connect directly with individuals experiencing houselessness and know that you are helping make a difference in helping everyone get a warm meal. And you'll get to know other PSU students along the way!

Location: This position will split its time between the PSU campus and the community partner site where you will be serving with your group. Ability to support transportation for your group to and from the PSU campus is a component of the role. Blanchet House is located at 310 NW Glisan Street and is accessible by the MAX within 10 minutes of PSU. 

Supervision: The team lead will report both to the Student Community Engagement Center staff and to the primary contact at the organization with whom they will be serving. 

Schedule Available: 4-6 hours per week, including weekly shift at your community partner and taking students to and from the organization. Availability on Saturdays from 10:30am - 2:30pm would be ideal for the Blanchet House meal service shift. Afternoon clothing closet shifts may be an option as well.
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