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Volunteer

Volunteer opportunities

Thank you for your interest in welcoming refugees to your community. By volunteering with the IRC in Oakland, CA, you use your skills to help people who have fled violence and persecution to rebuild their lives in America. See below for the latest volunteer opportunities and how to apply.

Last updated 

Current opportunities

Oakland, CA

Administrative Support Volunteer

Start date: Ongoing

The Finance and Administration Department is responsible for the IRC in Northern California’s financial accounting functions and the oversight of the financial accounting processes of the offices to support programs. This volunteer position is within the Finance and Administration team and will support the team with various projects and month end close responsibilities included assisting with client coordination support and helping to foster an environment in which both clients and staff thrive in productivity. By providing support to the finance and administration team, the volunteer will help make the transition to Northern California easier for hundreds of refugees. The IRC supports new refugees with financial assistance, language classes, vocational training, and resume coaching.

Oakland, CA

H.O.M.E Mentorship

Start date: Ongoing

The Housing, Outreach, Mentorship, and Education Program provides three levels of support for newly arriving families through community groups of volunteers. HOME teams (2-5 individuals) fundraise to provide a rental subsidy, a complete apartment setup and provide 6 months of mentorship to the family.

Oakland, CA

Immigration Outreach Volunteer

Start date: Ongoing

The Immigration Department at the IRC provides high-quality services at a low cost to assist refugees, asylees, and other immigrants. The services that are provided include naturalization, family reunification, green cards, and DACA.

Oakland, CA

Intensive Case Mangement (ICM) Volunteer

Start date: Ongoing

The IRC’s ICM Program serves refugees with high barriers to self-sufficiency. ICM focuses on the following populations: children and adults with serious medical conditions and mental health needs, clients affected by gender-based violence, LGBTQ clients, the elderly, single parents, and women-at-risk. A client-centered and strengths-focused approach is used to assist clients in meeting their goals.

Oakland, CA

Resettlement Casework Volunteer

Start date: Ongoing

The resettlement services program (also referred to as the reception and placement, or R&P, program) is the first point of contact for newly arrived refugees and special immigrant visa holders. This case management program offers support and guidance through the initial 3 months of resettlement. The R&P case management team provides services to orient refugees to life in the U.S., including (but not limited to) securing housing, applying for state benefits such as food stamps, cash benefits, and medical insurance, connecting clients with medical providers, registering children in school, applying for Social Security cards, conducting cultural orientation classes for all adults, and linking refugees to additional internal and community services. This year, the IRC in Oakland will be resettling refugees and special immigrant visa holders primarily from Afghanistan, El Salvador, Eritrea, and Burma. These clients will live all across the Bay Area, however, the majority of clients will likely reside in Contra Costa and Alameda County.

Oakland, CA

Community Orientation & Program Coordination Volunteer

Start date: Ongoing

The resettlement services program (also referred to as the reception and placement, or R&P, program) is the first point of contact for newly arrived refugees and special immigrant visa holders. This case management program offers support, guidance, and counseling through the initial 3 months of resettlement. The R&P case management team provides services to orient refugees to life in the U.S., including (but not limited to) securing housing, applying for state benefits such as food stamps, cash benefits, and medical insurance, connecting clients with medical providers, registering children in school, applying for Social Security, conducting “cultural orientation” classes for all adults, and linking refugees to additional internal and community services. This year, the IRC in Oakland will be resettling refugees and special immigrant visa holders primarily from Afghanistan, El Salvador, Eritrea, and Burma. These clients will live all across the Bay Area, however, the majority of clients will likely reside in Contra Costa and Alameda County. The Anti-Trafficking Program provides intensive case management services to adult, foreign-born survivors of human trafficking. The majority of the clients in this program are currently from Central and South America.

Oakland, CA

ESL Volunteer

Start date: Ongoing

Oakland IRC’s Economic Empowerment program supports clients in rebuilding their lives in the U.S. The IRC supports new arrivals find their first job in the U.S. through Early Employment Programs, which blend classroom job-readiness instruction and individualized employment case management in helping over 75 percent of enrolled cases successfully find employment within 6 months of arrival to the U.S. While clients are looking for a job, they simultaneously learn about the complex U.S. financial services system, receive help in establishing bank accounts, and can access consumer advocacy and financial coaching support from IRC Financial Counselors.

Oakland, CA

Client Coordinator Volunteer

Start date: Ongoing

The Client Coordinator volunteer manages the front desk and waiting lobby. This volunteer will always be the first person people see when they come into the IRC office. A Client Coordinator is responsible for setting and maintaining the overall environment, while clients wait in the lobby. Client Coordinators greet clients and help them access services. The volunteer is responsible for directing client needs to the appropriate staff member as well as answer phones, take messages, and respond to general questions.

Volunteer process

  1. Review our current and ongoing available volunteer positions.

  2. Attend an information session, you can RSVP here for the August 15 session or the September 12 session here. All Info-Sessions are held from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at our office in Oakland.

  3. After you’ve attended an information session, we’ll send you a volunteer application to complete, please attach a resume in the application.

  4. As volunteer opportunities become available, you may be contacted to schedule a phone or in-person interview.

  5. Complete and clear a background check.

  6. If selected, you will be contacted with information about next steps.

Additional things to note

*You must be 18 years or older to volunteer and complete a background check. 

Due to the high volume of people reaching out, we are currently prioritizing volunteers who have weekday availability between Monday-Friday from 9:00-5:00 p.m. We do have a significant waitlist for volunteer opportunities at the moment. We encourage any potential volunteers who do not have weekday availability to view our How Can I Help or Take Action page before signing up for an Info Session.

For more information, contact Volunteer & Donations Coordinator, [email protected].