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The City of Deland, To Host Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, Volunteer Orientation Jan. 30

While Daytona Beach's First Step Shelter struggles with filling their shelter. The Bridge, a come-as-you-are shelter and day center is scheduled to open in April. The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia is working to make sure the volunteers are informed.

The meet is open to anyone interested in helping out at the facility. It will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday in the sanctuary at First Christian Church, 1401 W. New York Ave., in DeLand.

The attendees will learn about the needs at the Bridge. responsibilities volunteers will have and the status of the project, which is expected to open sometime in April.

“We want to make sure everybody knows what’s expected when they sign up for those positions,” Susan Clark, executive director of the Neighborhood Center, said.

Staff from the center will manage the day-to-day operations, but there will be several different needs with which volunteers can help.

Jobs for volunteers include driving, helping prepare and serve meals, laundry, scheduling showers and distributing toiletries, mentoring, clerical work and more.

“We need all the help we can get,” said Anslee Holland, volunteer coordinator for the Neighborhood Center. “The more, the merrier.”

Holland said they need more volunteers willing to work as safety monitors as only a couple of the more than 85 people who have signed up to volunteer have offered to serve in that position.

City Manager Michael Pleus said the facility, on which the community broke ground last March, intentionally won’t have a law enforcement presence as it may deter homeless people from coming to The Bridge, 421 S. Palmetto Ave.

“We want people who are comfortable enforcing the rules, but aren’t going to carry a badge and a gun,” Pleus said.

Ideally, the shifts for volunteers will be at least a couple of hours, Holland said.

“But whatever someone can do, if we can get them in, we’ll take them,” Holland said.

All of the clients at the Bridge will get three meals a day and have access to the showers, haircuts, laundry service. The detoxification room and case management services will include addressing an individual’s needs through counseling, classes, and support groups. The facility houses 30 people.

All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age but if someone is younger and wants to help, there’s the possibility that they can work if they bring an adult to supervise them.

Additional meetings and training for volunteers will be held, over the next three months.

For information on volunteering, contact Holland at 386-259-0088.

To donate to The Bridge, mail contributions to The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, 434 S. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, FL, 32720, or visit

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