ATASCADERO – The El Camino (ECHO) homeless organization is in urgent need of volunteers for each of its facilities. As ECHO celebrates its 20th anniversary (2001-2021), a growing wave of activities to meet the needs of the homeless in the north of the county has led to an increased need for volunteers. There are now three facilities in Atascadero and Paso Robles, with a bed capacity almost three times that of ECHO’s first shelter in Atascadero, which housed 50 people. The Atascadero Echo currently houses 60 people enrolled in the basic three-month case management program. The Echo Paso Robles, located in the former Motel 6 on Black Oak Drive, accommodates 60 people seeking temporary housing, and the Echo Winter Shelter, which operates annually from the 1st floor. November to the 31st. March at Atascadero Community Church welcomes 20 people seeking temporary housing during the winter months.

  • ECHO Paso Robles
  • ECHO Atascadero

There are several positions available, most of which require only a few hours per week. Overnight registration of residents, providing takeout, dinner service and overseeing the shower program are just a few of the positions available. Volunteers can choose what suits them best, whether it is direct interaction with others or a supportive role. The most urgent need is for an overnight stay for the carers at the ECHO Atascadero shelter. Many couples have found this position very helpful and have chosen to volunteer once a month for this position.

Volunteering with ECHO is a safe and highly rewarding experience that allows volunteers to immediately see the impact of their service on the lives of others.

Our volunteers are the foundation of the success of our mission to end homelessness in our community, said Wendy Lewis, president of ECHO/CEO. Volunteers come to us with a desire to serve the community and are amazed at how rewarding it is. Many tend to befriend other volunteers and become regulars in various volunteer roles.

ECHO has three secure overnight shelters in Atascadero and Paso Robles to meet the immediate needs of families and the homeless. Through ECHO Atascadero’s unique program, case management services are provided to help clients find permanent and sustainable employment and housing within three months of beginning the program. By participating in the program, clients acquire skills in employment, household management, health management, and social communication and interaction. The aim and outcome of this practical support is to enable residents to develop positively and help them acquire the skills and services they need to be self-sufficient, including safe housing.

A group of 1,500 community volunteers support the facilities and meal programs in each community, providing more than 100 meals per night to residents and the homeless.

For more information and to register, visit our website at echoshelter.org/volunteer. Specific requests or questions related to volunteering for ECHO can be addressed to the ECHO volunteer coordinators:

Echo Paso Robles – Pearl Herrera at (805)538-3947 or [email protected]

ECHO Atascadero – Rachel Novak at (805)539-7858 or [email protected]

Echo Winter Shelter in Atascadero, Jenn Banco, at (805)792-2536 or [email protected]

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