Your Time & Talent
can help save lives

Welcome to the family of volunteers at the Hope Center! Our volunteers, who generously give of their time and talents, allow us to rebuild lives every day. Your commitment to volunteering at the Hope Center will have a positive impact on our community and on the lives of those we serve. We are happy you are here; please join us! For more information, contact our Development Team at 859-721-0144 or at

Volunteer Opportunities

Serve a Meal 

The Jacobs Hope Cafeteria serves over 38,000 meals per month, and we rely on dedicated volunteers to help us feed the homeless. Our staff prepares and cooks the meal, and we utilize volunteers to serve meals and drinks to our clients. Volunteers serving meals must be over age 12, and volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult parent, guardian or group leader.

Breakfast:                                                    Mon. – Fri. 6:30 – 7:30 a.m.                         Sat. – Sun. 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: Noon – 1:00 p.m. Everyday
Dinner: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Everyday

We can accommodate a maximum of 6-8 volunteers per meal service.

Share Your Expertise

Are you a personal trainer? Work in banking, food service or a health service field? Do you have a special skill or some kind of training that may benefit the needs of our clients? Let us know!

Our Recovery Clients all attend Life Skills classes, which prepare them for successful independent living. We have volunteers who teach a variety of classes, including personal finance, healthy cooking, anger management and meditation, and more.





Your time

empowers people

Non-profit organizations deeply need your commitment to volunteering, and it has such a positive impact on our community and on the lives of those we serve. Please consider volunteering with your time and making a difference at the Hope Center.

Volunteer Application

Please complete this application form if you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the Hope Center. Once you complete the form, click the submit button at the bottom. We ask for church and employer information in order to build better relationships with local churches and businesses. This information is not required but encouraged.



Street Address, Apt or Suite #

Volunteer Waiver

I agree that I will be working with the Hope Center on a voluntary, non-paid basis. I agree not to hold the Hope Center liable for any injuries or damages I may incur while acting as a volunteer. I realize that I am responsible for my own safety and that the Hope Center is not responsible for any negligence on my part.

I attest that the information on the Volunteer Application is true to the best of my knowledge and give permission for the Hope Center to verify its authenticity. I understand the volunteer opportunities available and am able to perform these duties, and I will respect and observe the volunteer schedule. I agree to the Confidentiality Clause, Safety Protocol, Workplace Harassment form, and I will not engage in Dual Relationships with any Hope Center client.

I grant permission for the Hope Center to use my photograph in marketing materials and in social media. I understand that I am not allowed to make any public statement about the Hope Center, and understand that filling out this application does not guarantee volunteer placement.

The Hope Center reserves the right to refuse a volunteer placement. The Hope Center accepts the service of all approved volunteers with the understanding that such service is at the sole discretion of the Hope Center. Volunteers agree that the organization may, at any time, for whatever reason, decide to terminate the volunteer’s relationship with the Hope Center or to make changes in the nature of the volunteer’s assignment.

To learn more and review ALL terms and conditions, please read through our Volunteer Handbook.

Understanding the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) for Volunteers

The Kentucky Department of Corrections mandates zero tolerance toward all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
Many Hope Center Clients are court-ordered into our Recovery Programs. As a volunteer, you may have staff supervised interaction with our Department of Corrections clients, and all volunteers who volunteer with DOC clients are required to submit the following form. This form states that as a volunteer, you will not have any sexual or romantic contact with Hope Center clients, as they may fall under the federal PREA laws.

What is PREA?
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of September 4, 2003 (Public Law 108-79) was enacted by Congress to address the problem of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in all US penal facilities. PREA supports the elimination, reduction and prevention of sexual assault/rape within our prisons, community corrections centers and local jails. PREA applies to Offender-on-Offender and Staff-on-Offender sexual misconduct. Any resident or inmate of a KDOC facility or its contractors is considered to be at disadvantage, and is not legally capable of consent to any sexual activity.

What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is defined as any type of undesired behavior of a sexual nature. This includes any unsolicited attempted sexual contact, any voyeurism, or coercion to engage in any sexual act. When sexual contact is accomplished or solicited through fear, threat of bodily harm or implied threat, it is considered to be sexual abuse.

What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual Assault is defined as any undesired contact of a sexual nature. It is against Kentucky state law for any staff member, contractor or volunteer to engage in any type of behavior or act of a sexual nature with an offender or resident. This includes any sexual contact or intercourse of any kind.

What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual Harassment is defined as undesired verbal statements or comments of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is prohibited by offenders, staff members, volunteers, contractors, official visitors or agency representatives, and includes any demeaning reference to gender or derogatory comments about body or clothing: profane or obscene language or gestures.

What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Abused?
If you have been abused, get to a safe place. Any victim of sexual abuse is encouraged to report any necessary event as soon as possible. It is important to know that victims do not have to identify their assailant. But, all staff and authorities are required to report any criminal activity to Law Enforcement.

The Department of Corrections provides multiple ways to report sexual abuse or sexual harassment: Written report to any staff member, Verbal report to any staff member, Call the confidential PREA Hotline (855-700-7732)

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, DO NOT: Shower, brush your teeth, use the restroom, change your clothes, eat, drink or smoke. Doing any of the above prior to reporting the abuse may destroy important evidence.

How Can Individuals Avoid Incidents of Sexual Abuse?
Stay away from isolated areas such as closets, stairwells, and isolated/unoccupied restrooms.
Stay within the eyesight of facility staff member whenever possible.
Be aware of your body language.
Avoid conversations involving sexual topics, family relationships, sexual experiences, financial status.

Volunteer FAQs

What are the volunteer minimum age policies?

Although we would like to accommodate volunteers of all ages, given the diversity among those we serve, the minimum age of volunteers is 12 years old. Students under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult or parent chaperone. A great way to involve those under age 12 is for them to organize a Needs Drive or make sandwiches for our Mobile Outreach Program.

How do I become a volunteer?

Please begin by reading our online Volunteer Handbook and completing the Volunteer Application.

What kind of volunteer opportunities do you have for groups?

Groups of 6-8 people can serve a meal at the Jacobs Hope Cafeteria. Other opportunities for groups (work teams, special events) may be available upon request. Groups (like Sunday School classes or youth groups) can also support the Hope Center through organizing a Needs Drive. Visit our group opportunities page to learn more.

Is there a dress code for volunteering?

Food service volunteers MUST wear non-slip, closed-toed shoes, long hair pulled back, and no dangling jewelry; wear clothes you are comfortable in and don’t mind getting a little dirty! We ask that all volunteers be mindful of the clothing they choose in regards to both modesty and subject matter. (Provocative clothing and clothing that shows too much skin or is too tight or too short would be inappropriate.) Please do not bring purses or valuables into the facility, as we don’t have extra space to secure them.

What is the time commitment for volunteering?

We understand that your availability may be limited at this time, so many of our opportunities have a flexible schedule. Depending on the area you would like to volunteer in, the schedule will vary. You can serve a meal on one occasion or sign-up to volunteer for an event. If you are able to commit more time, we have other positions that require a weekly, monthly, or longer commitment. We have volunteer opportunities throughout the day, from 6:30 AM – 6:00 PM.

Do you provide volunteering opportunities for court-ordered community service?

We do have limited opportunities for court ordered community service volunteers.

Do all of your volunteer opportunities involve directly working with the homeless population?

The majority of our volunteering opportunities do involve direct contact with our homeless population. However, we have other ongoing positions, including event volunteers, which do not.

Get Help

Emergency Shelter

360 W. Loudon Ave. Lexington, KY 40508


Hyde Hope Health Clinic: 859-225-5035

(For Men's Recovery Program intake, call the Emergency Shelter and ask for Intake)

Reach Us

Men's Recovery Intake Number


Women's Recovery Intake Number


Donations & volunteers


The Hope Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
For all donations or volunteer assistance contact the Development Department at 859-721-0144.

For Men’s Emergency Shelter and Recovery Program questions and intake call 859-252-7881.
For Women’s Recovery Program intake call 859-252-2002.

Copyright © 2018 The Hope Center, Lexington, KY. All Rights Reserved.  Site designed by Block & Gray

Last Updated: 5/23/2022