How do I become a client?
The easiest thing to do is fill out our online application with your contact information, demographics and your specific request. One of our chapter leaders or staff will contact you to discuss your eligibility, the details of your request and discuss options of how our volunteers might be able to help you. We cannot guarantee all requests will be met. If you do not have computer access, you can call our toll free number at 1-855-241-HELP(4357).
What are the eligibility requirements for assistance?
Our mission is to help neighbors undergoing a temporary crisis with everyday household chores. Examples of a temporary crisis include illness, accident, surgery, fire, injury or a death in the family. Needs that are chronic, financial or age related generally do not qualify. Examples of household chores might include meal delivery, dog walks, rides to doctor appointments, lawn cleanup and help with errands. Everyone receiving services is required to understand, agree to and sign off on Neighbor Brigade waivers and liability agreements. Activities that require face to face interaction with Neighbor Brigade volunteers could require a valid background check.
I know someone who could use help, how should I proceed?
The best method is to have the person in a temporary crisis fill out an online application or leave a message on our toll free number. A Chapter Leader or central staff will contact them directly to set up services, if applicable. If it is not possible for the potential client to fill out the form online or call on their own behalf, an interested party can take care of the inquiry and arrange the details of service on their behalf. We will need confirmation of the client’s approval of waiver and liability forms.
What if I have food allergies, dietary restriction or foods I just don’t like?
We do our best to accommodate any requests, but as with any food that you have not prepared yourself, we cannot guarantee against cross-contamination or to meet all of your requests. Volunteers should have read through our Food Preparation Guidelines for safe food handling and allergen cross-contamination, as well as provide ingredient labels in cases of food allergies.
How do dog walks work?
In many of our chapters, if your temporary crisis doesn’t allow you to take your friendly and relatively easy to walk pup(s) out regularly, we might be able to help with occasional dog walks. Beforehand, you should tell your Neighbor Brigade Chapter Leader or our Program Director any relevant information about your dog(s) and the walk – what is the size and breed of your dog, is your dog good around other dogs/people/squirrels or could/do they pull on a leash, is it appropriate for a volunteer to bring their dog or children to accompany them on a walk, is there a good walking route, how long should the volunteer plan to walk, and any other useful information. You should have poop bags, leash, possibly dog treats ready to hand off at an exterior door to a volunteer at the specified time. Volunteers shouldn’t enter your home and we may require background checks.
Can I get the volunteers’ contact information?
We do not share volunteers’ contact information unless specifically given permission. In the case of rides, an exchange of cell phone numbers can be useful, otherwise, most of our activities should not require contact outside of the computer scheduling and communication between you and the Chapter Leader or Program Director. Volunteers can contact a client directly to share information. Chapter Leaders can convey messages to volunteers. Neighbor Brigade cannot be held liable or accountable for any activities coordinated or that occur outside of activities scheduled within the Neighbor Brigade computer system, which includes any activity coordinated between a volunteer and client, or between a Chapter Leader, volunteer and client.
How does scheduling work?
After your request has been made, you will discuss a schedule that works for you and your Neighbor Brigade Chapter. Your Chapter Leader or our Program Director will post the opportunities through the Chapter volunteer management software and send a message to alert Volunteers about the new opportunities. As volunteers sign up, your Chapter Leader will likely notify you confirming the volunteers’ commitment or letting you know that we were not able to fill a time slot. If you need to change or cancel an arranged date, time or other details, you should contact your Chapter Leader.
How does meal delivery work?
If you and your Chapter Leader or Program Director decide that meals would be helpful in getting you and your family through your temporary crisis, you will decide on a meal delivery schedule. Our most frequent schedule is dinner two to three times a week for three to four weeks. (Our volunteers tend to be generous – you will likely end up with leftovers from most meals!) Meals are delivered during a specified window (for example, Tuesday and Thursday 4-6pm) in disposable containers (you will not need to return) to a cooler (supplied by you or the Chapter) outside your door. Volunteers should not enter your home or ring your doorbell unless arranged. If there are dietary restrictions, allergies or food preferences, you should let your Chapter Leader know ahead of time.
How do rides work?
Many Neighbor Brigade Chapters have volunteers who are able to provide rides to essential appointments, such as doctor appointments or pharmacy pick-ups (but not general things like hair appointments or general dental cleanings). Because there will be face to face contact, we require a background check on file for everyone in contact during the activity, also Neighbor Brigade volunteers cannot supply any medical assistance (including lifting individuals into a vehicle). A client and Chapter Leader or Program Director will discuss the time/date and pick up/drop off locations for the ride. Depending on the ride details, a Chapter Leader may decide to break a ride up into two separate tasks (i.e. a ride to an appointment and a ride home from an appointment) or one round trip. There is no guarantee a ride will be filled by a volunteer, so alternative options should be in place if necessary (or example, taxi, Uber, Lyft, community transit, public transportation). Once the ride has been confirmed with a volunteer, the volunteer will pick up the recipient as scheduled. If contact information needs to be shared (for example, the volunteer runs errands while the recipient is in a doctor’s appointment and the volunteer gets a call when the appointment is over) the volunteer can share the information with the client at his or her discretion. Volunteers are not permitted to assist in any medical activities or attend/act as liaisons at medical appointments. Volunteers may not sign any release forms that assume responsibility for the client. Clients should let Chapter Leaders know ahead of time if any extra equipment (e.g. walkers, wheelchairs, car seats), or passengers will be needed. Additional passengers may also need to undergo a background check.
What if I don’t qualify or need more assistance?
We have a list of alternative resources that might be helpful.
How much does this cost?
Our services are provided no cost to the clients and clients may not give money to volunteers as a form of payment, gift or reward.