Volunteer Resources

Ready to jump into public health straight away? We've compiled a list of dozens of locations around the Yale and New Haven communities where you can make a difference right now.

  • Contact organizations by phone instead of email to receive faster responses
  • Many organizations are within walking distance; for those that are not, cttransit describes New Haven bus routes
  • Feel free to volunteer either on your own or with a Dwight Hall group (Dwight Hall groups affiliated with the organizations below will be listed in the descriptions)

Yale-Related Public Health Service Opportunities:

Chapel Haven
Chapel Haven runs a transitional residential program for adults with cognitive disabilities and a residential program for adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. USAAY (United Students for Autism Awareness and Advocacy at Yale) runs a volunteer program there, matching Yale students with Chapel Haven residents. 1040 Whalley Avenue | Website | 203-397-1714 | rolake.alabi@yale.edu 

Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE)
CARE is part of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation at the Yale School of Medicine. CARE is currently reporting the results of community health surveys it conducted in New Haven in the fall of 2009; these Community Dialogues are Wednesdays from 6:30-8 (see ycci.yale.edu for more information). Sign up to hear about upcoming volunteer opportunities at the first link given above. 2 Church Street South | 203-785-3482 | Websit

Community Health Educators (CHE)
CHE is a Yale organization that goes to New Haven middle and high schools and teaches students about safe health practices, focusing on various topics including nutrition, drugs and alcohol, sexual orientation, STIs and contraception, and healthy relationships. Contact hannah.swanson@yale.edu and sarah.siegel@yale.edu for information about the middle school program; contact liza.vangundy@yale.edu and sarah.greene@yale.edu for information about the high school program. Volunteer applications are due at the beginning of each semester and can be downloaded from CHE’s website at http://www.yale.edu/che/about.html. Prospective volunteers will be interviewed.

Haven Free Clinic
Haven Free Clinic provides free medical care to uninsured Fair Haven residents (Fair Haven is a suburb of New Haven). It is run and staffed by students from Yale health professional schools. Volunteers will work as general Spanish interpreters; as Spanish interpreters in the women’s clinic, patient services, or in referrals; or assist in the pharmacy, in social services, or in education (no Spanish required for the last three). 374 Grand Avenue | 203-314-9305 | Website | jeremy.ho@yale.edu 

Leeway is a residential facility for up to 40 people living with HIV or AIDS from the greater New Haven area. Volunteers will assist with recreational activities and visit residents. Volunteers are required to complete an orientation. 40 Albert Street | 203-865-0068 and ask for Sylvia or Carolyn | Website | sylsanders@aol.com (Leeway’s Volunteer Coordinator) or jacqueline.outka@yale.edu (leader of Yale students volunteering at Leeway)

Minorities in Medicine Movement (MMM)
This Yale organization pairs pre-med undergraduates with minority students from New Haven public high schools who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine. The student-mentor pairs will discuss the college application process and health-related topics, as well as go on health field trips and attend panels. Website | christine.boone@yale.edu or linna.duan@yale.edu

A hub of Yale Medical School volunteer opportunities within the New Haven community. Website | emily.h.thomas@gmail.com

Yale Emergency Medical Services
Yale EMS is a state accredited EMS agency that provides standby medical coverage for university events. It is staffed entirely by Yale students. An EMT-basic certification course is offered every semester. Instructors are also available to teach CPR and First Aid classes. Website | peter.suwondo@yale.edu

Yale-New Haven Hospital
Yale-New Haven Hospital asks volunteers to work at least four hours a week for at least six months. Volunteers are required to undergo a three-hour orientation, as well as an interview. Volunteers may request online to receive a packet by mail about the volunteer program, or receive the packet in person when attending the orientation. Volunteers will work in guest relations, patient support, parenting, at the Smilow Cancer Hospital, or at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Volunteers have some control over where they volunteer in the hospital. 20 York Street | 203-688-2297 (Volunteer Services number) | Website

Yale Undergraduates at CT Hospice
CT Hospice is the nation’s oldest hospice. Volunteers are required to complete an orientation. Volunteers will perform various tasks, most centered around patient care and support, although some also involve advocacy and administrative work. 100 Double Beach Road, Branford CT | 203-315-7540 | Website | pnowak@hospice.com (general information) and clara.men@yale.edu (Yale’s volunteering program)

Community Public Health-Related Organizations:

Agency on Aging of South Central CT: 203-785-8533, ask for Leslie Pruitt, http://www.ct.gov/agingservices/cwp/view.asp?a=2511&q=313032.  Volunteers can participate in the CHOICES program, which aims to educate those 60 and over, as well as those with disabilities, about health insurance.

AIDS Interfaith Network: 1303 Chapel Street, 203-624-4350, , contact Bonnye Cofield by email from this link. AIDS Interfaith Network is affiliated with United Way of Greater New Haven (a religious service organization) and provides physical, emotional, and recreational resources to people living with HIV/AIDS in New Haven. Volunteers will help run their new online bookstore.

AIDS Project New Haven: 1302 Chapel Street, 203-624-0947, volunteer.htm gives a link to download their online volunteer application. AIDS Project New Haven provides services to people living with HIV/AIDS in the greater New Haven area, as well as running prevention and advocacy campaigns. Volunteers will perform different tasks depending on their skills and experience.

City Hall Health Department: 54 Meadow Street, 203-946-6999, William Meadows is the Director. They need potential volunteers in case of bioterrorism; the form can be downloaded at Health.

Columbus House: 586 Ella T Grasso Boulevard, 203-401-4400 extension 106, columbushouse.org to download a volunteer form; contact John Brooks (jbrooks@columbushouse.org) or Meri Ross (volunteer coordinator) (mross@columbushouse.org). Columbus House provides shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and outreach services to the marginalized in the New Haven community. Volunteers are needed for a wide variety of tasks.

Connecticut Mental Health Center Foundation: 34 Park Street, Room 144, 203-974-7089, contact Kyle Pederson (kyle.pederson@yale.edu). CT Mental Health Center Foundation supports the activities of CT’s Mental Health Center, which has been around since 1966. Volunteers are needed to help plan special events and assist with clerical work and should call the number above.

Continuum Home Health: 399 Orange Street, 203-782-3192, , Patti Walker (pwalker@continuumct.com) is contact for Continuum for Care, Inc., of which Continuum Home Health is a part. Continuum Home Health provides various home health care services to ensure both physical and mental health. Call about volunteer opportunities.

Cornell Scott Hill Health Center: 400-428 Columbus Avenue, 203-503-3250, hillhealthcenter. Cornell Scott Hill Health Center was Connecticut’s first community health center at the time of its founding in 1986. Call about volunteer opportunities.

Crossroads Inc: 54 East Ramsdell Street, involved, 203-387-0094 and ask about volunteer opportunities. Crossroads is a bilingual and culturally-centered addiction recovery program.

Easter Seals Goodwill New Haven: 95 Hamilton Street, contact Monique Turner-Lopez (mturner@esginh.org) about volunteer opportunities. Easter Seals Goodwill Industries New Haven is part of Easter Seals Connecticut, an organization assisting those with disabilities. Volunteer opportunities involve helping out with fund-raising or at the local Goodwill store.

Fellowship Place: 441 Elm Street, 203-401-4227,involved_volunteer. Fellowship Place helps adults with mental illnesses (“members”) by providing them with emotional and recreational services and creating a community; it is especially well known for its arts program. Volunteers will go in groups to donate and serve food monthly; assist with adult education (upperclassmen only); go with members to Yale Farm on Friday afternoons; or introduce a Fellowship Place member to community activities he or she might be interested in (bilingual desired).

Health Equity Project: Contact Shanta Evans, shantavns@gmail.com and 860-869-8779 for more information.

Hispanos Unidos Contra el SIDA (Hispanics United Against AIDS): 116 Sherman Avenue 1st floor, 203-781-0226, unidos, contact Luz González (lgonzalez@hispanos-unidos.org), the Executive Director, about volunteer opportunities. Spanish fluency required. Hispanos Unidos Contra el SIDA was founded in 1987 as an HIV/AIDS prevention and education organization, the first of its kind in CT. It aims to target the Spanish-speaking New Haven community especially; all its staff are bilingual and bicultural. Hispanos Unidos also helps run CT’s only one-week summer camp specifically for children affected by HIV/AIDS; the camp is a week long in August and the volunteer application can be downloaded from a link on the webpage given above. Spanish fluency is not required for camp counselors.

Hole in the Wall Gang Camp: 1) For summer opportunities: 565 Ashford Court Road, Ashford CT, 860-429-3444 and ask for Ellen Buus, the Summer Volunteer Coordinator,635. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a summer camp for children with serious illnesses. Summer volunteers serve as volunteer camp counselors for a week or two and have the same duties as camp staff counselors (who are there for the entire summer). 2) For year-round opportunities: 555 Long Wharf Drive, 203-772-0522 and ask for Mary Helfer,703 provides a link to download the New Haven volunteer application, which can then be faxed (203-782-1725), emailed (mary.helfer@holeinthewallgang.org) or mailed (address provided on website) to the New Haven office. Volunteers will be doing clerical work.

Hospital of St. Raphael’s: 1450 Chapel Street, 203-789-3480 (direct number of Volunteer Services department), contact tjennings@srhs.orgsrhs.org. Hospital of St. Raphael’s is a local hospital sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth. Volunteers must be able to commit to three hours a week for at least six months. There are over ninety different volunteer opportunities in thirty-five different departments, including working at the Father Michael J. McGivney Cancer Center. Volunteers can specify whether they prefer to always work with patients, sometimes work with them, or never work with them. Prospective volunteers must complete an application submitted to the Volunteer Office, attend an orientation, and be interviewed.

IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services): 235 Nicoll Street, 203-562-1798,volunteer provides a link to the online volunteer application, which can be submitted by mail or email, contact volunteer@irisct.org (Elizabeth Weissberg). IRIS provides various services to help refugees (more than half from Iraq) navigate New Haven. Volunteers will work as English teachers (1 hour a week commitment), assist with childcare, lead cultural orientations (describing the local bus system, etc), help students of different ages with homework in the evenings, serve as interpreters especially in doctors’ appointments (for those fluent in Arabic, Dari, Farsi, French, Hausa, Ibo, Karen, Krio, Lingala, Russian, Spanish, and other languages), volunteer at the food bank, assist at the immigration clinic, and more.

Jewish Family Services: 1440 Whalley Avenue, 203-389-5599,volunteering, contact araim@jfsnh.org. Volunteer opportunities vary from meeting with elderly residents at Tower One/Tower East to tutoring children. Jewish Family services provides various social and health services for all members of the New Haven community.

Liberty Community Services: 254 College St 2nd floor, 203-495-1749,opportunities, contact Barbara Vosburgh athuman.resources@libertycs.org. Liberty Community Services provides supportive and transitional housing for those with mental illnesses, chronic illnesses, disabilities, or who have experienced homelessness. Various volunteer opportunities are available.

Marrakech, Inc: 6 Lunar Drive, Woodbridge CT, call 203-389-2970 for volunteer opportunities, provides links to the different services Marrakech offers. Marrakech was originally founded in 1971 as the first halfway house in CT for women with mental retardation.

NAMI-CT:Hamden CT (for Greater New Haven area), 203-389-6325, contact Laura Spoerri (spoerri@comcast.net) about volunteer opportunities. NAMI is a national organization helping those with mental illness fight stigma and running health education programs. It has multiple CT chapters.

Parents’ Foundation for Transitional Living: 100 Broadway, 203-776-3236,programs provides information about services, contact Luis A. Rodriguez (Program Director) about volunteer opportunities at pftl@parentsfoundation.com. Parents’ Foundation for Transitional Living provides housing for those with serious mental illnesses.

Planned Parenthood: 345 Whitney Avenue, 203-865-5158,plannedparenthood, contact Gretchen Raffa (Gretchen.Raffa@ppct.org) about volunteer opportunities. Planned Parenthood’s New Haven chapter provides abortion and birth control services, HIV and HPV testing, and other related services for the New Haven community.

Ronald McDonald House:501 George Street, 203-777-5683, volunteer, contact dkelleher@rmh-ct.org or cbignolas@rmh-ct.org about volunteer opportunities. Ronald McDonald House provides 12 guest rooms for families whose children are undergoing hospital treatment. Volunteers fill out an online application. Volunteers will cook, provide office support, and help with fundraising.

South Central Behavioral Health Network: 205 Whitney Avenue, describes the network’s services, 203-498-4169, contact edward.mattison@scbhn.org about possible volunteer opportunities. South Central Behavioral Health Network runs a range of services for those with addictions and/or psychiatric troubles.

Teen Challenge New Haven: 475 Howard Street, tcnewengland , call 203-789-6172 to learn about potential volunteer opportunities. Teen Challenge New Haven runs faith-based recovery programs for addicts.

St. Francis Home for Children: 651 Prospect Street, 203-777-5513 extension 109,volunteers, contact AnneMarie Mullin (amullin@stfrancishome.com) about volunteer opportunities. St. Francis Home for Children provides various services for children and teenagers, aiming to maximize their physical and emotional well-being. Volunteer opportunities could include tutoring or serving as an athletic coach.

The Children’s Center of Hamden: 1400 Whitney Avenue, call 203-287-9583 about possible volunteer opportunities, provides links that describe the center’s programs, contact info@childrenscenterhamden.org. The Children’s Center of Hamden provides various inpatient and outpatient services for children.

United Way of Greater New Haven: 71 Orange Street, 203-772-2010, volunteer, contact volunteer@uwnh.org. United Way is one of New Haven’s largest service organizations, and aims to improve the lives of New Haven’s citizens in the areas of education, income, and health. Volunteer opportunities are constantly changing; run a volunteer search to specify what your volunteer interests are. The search will pull up results from around the New Haven area, not only at United Way. Volunteers can create their own accounts on the United Way website to keep checking new volunteer opportunities. The organization also runs regular Days of Action (days-action) where volunteers are sent to various service organizations in the community.

Women and Families Center: 1440 Whalley Avenue, 203-389-5010 (general number), 203-235-9297 extension 133 (Sexual Assault Crisis Services)position. The Women and Families Center, with offices in Meriden, Middletown, and New Haven, runs sexual assault crisis services and a sexual violence prevention campaign, as well as education programs and an employment and training program. Volunteers are needed to help Sexual Assault Crisis Services.