Public Health

Students are able to work at various public health agencies and organizations in differing capacities. No previous background or experience in public health is required, but volunteers should be interested in and dedicated to the mission of their chosen site.

Jewish Family Services: Partners in Care Concierge Program (Section 007)

What: Students will participate in Partners in Care Concierge (PiCC), a volunteer based medical appointment accompaniment program for older adults (60+), through Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County. Students will meet with older adults in their homes and assist in preparing them for their medical appointment for that day, take agency transportation with them to and from the medical appointment, and provide advocacy and support for the older adult during the medical appointment.

Who: Volunteer experience or medical field education or experience is not needed, but students are expected to be comfortable in providing appropriate levels of support to an older adult and comfortable going to someone’s home. This site is recommended for students with a lighter course load and/or a more flexible schedule given that the appointments can vary week to week, and generally require 3-4 hour blocks of time.

When: Volunteers assist older adults M-F from 9am until 5pm. This opportunity is not available in the evenings or on the weekends. For students with classes, it is often easiest to accept a volunteer opportunity on a day where classes are not scheduled or are completed for the day before the medical appointment time. The volunteer is expected to assist with one medical appointment for one older adult per week. In order to supplement their PiCC shifts, students may also volunteer at the Food Pantry or during other JFS programs. Students will be expected on site for 3-4 hours each week, for a total of at least 30 hours by the end of the semester.

Where: Jewish Family Services, 2245 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. All medical appointments occur within Washtenaw County, while most occur at facilities connected to MI Medicine through University of Michigan or St. Joseph Mercy Hospital based in Ypsilanti.

Transportation: 5 min drive; 10 min bus (#62) to JFS. CEAL vehicles or JFS transportation is available for volunteers without their own vehicle.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers are required to attend a JFS agency orientation and a two hour Partners in Care Concierge training. Volunteers will be required to complete a JFS volunteer application, which includes a background and criminal record check. 

Image result for dawn farm logoDawn Farm-Spera Recovery Center (Section 008)

What: Dawn Farm’s Spera Recovery Center in Ann Arbor provides a safe, recovery-friendly environment for detoxification, brief residential treatment, and ongoing recovery support services for individuals and families struggling with addiction. At Spera, clients receive assessments and treatment plans, are supervised through detox and withdrawal, participate in groups, and are introduced to the recovering community.

At Dawn Farm, we believe wholeheartedly in the power of the community. We rely on our community to help give Spera residents hope that it does get better. Detoxification is a difficult process, and often those we serve aren’t feeling good. Because of this, Spera truly runs on the power of volunteers. Student volunteers will have the opportunity to do everything from cooking meals, to sorting through donations of clothing and toiletries, to knitting and playing kickball with residents. Volunteers are so important in fulfilling the needs of those we serve and creating a warm and comfortable environment for folks to take their first steps into recovery.

Who: This volunteer opportunity is a good fit for those interested in addiction and recovery, healthcare, and social equity. Previous experience with addiction is not required. A strong sense of empathy and commitment to confidentiality are needed to be successful in this role. This site is the best fit for students who are self-motivated and can hold themselves accountable, willing to take initiative and talk to new people, able to work independently, and can navigate a less structured community site experience. Note: The majority of the shifts involve helping to maintaining a clean and welcoming living environment, sorting donations, meal preparation, and other tasks as needed. The shifts will not always involve direct client interaction, so it’s important that students are willing to be flexible and open-minded because their experiences may vary week to week. 

When: Students will be expected on site for 3-4 hours each week, for a total of at least 30 hours by the end of the semester. We have volunteer opportunities 7 days per week from 7am until 10pm. You can determine which times you would like to attend, and it is usually best to volunteer for 1-2 shifts per week to fulfill your hours.

Where: Spera Recovery Center, 502 W Huron Street, Ann Arbor MI 48103

Transportation: Spera is a 20 minute walk from the Union or you can take the 30 or 31 bus from Blake Transit Center.

Orientation/Training: Prior to volunteering, all students will be required to attend volunteer orientation and tour as well as sign a confidentiality agreement.

U-M Psychiatry Clinic-Zero to Thrive (Section 010)


NOTE: There are two different Zero to Thrive placements: Perinatal Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT) group and the Infant and Early Childhood Clinic (IECC). An override is required for this site. 

(1) What: Perinatal DBT group is a skills-based group where mothers can learn techniques to address symptoms associated with Perinatal Mood Disorders and find support amongst other mothers. The group is comprised of four skill sets to offer education regarding perinatal mood symptoms, ways to manage strong emotions, skills to adapt to relationship changes and challenges, coping skills to tolerate distress, and strategies to increase self-awareness and attention.

To make the group more accessible to mothers, children from ages 0-6 are welcome to attend group and participate on the “child-side.” The child-side of Peri DBT group has a separate trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate curriculum that coincides with the skills that the mothers are learning in the Perinatal DBT group. The curriculum includes social skills development, emotion identification, emotion regulation, mindfulness activities, and more- all of which are informed by evidence based modalities such as Parent Child Interaction Therapy and Child Parent Pyschotherapy.

Who: This volunteer opportunity is a good fit for those interested in learning about child development and working with young children and families. Volunteers need to be willing to provide assistance and child care during visits- mostly through interactive play.

When: Monday: 9:00am-11:30am (One spot available per shift. Please fill out an override request, and you will be placed on a waiting list if the spot is already taken)

(2) What: The Infant and Early Childhood Clinic (IECC) provides state-of-the-art assessment, support and therapeutic intervention services to infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families. While infancy and early childhood is often considered a time of learning, joy and connection, for many children and families this is also a time of challenge. Mental and behavioral health problems are common, even for very young children. The Infant and Early Childhood Clinic serves children who are struggling with behavioral or emotional concerns, or those who are at high risk for developing psychiatric or developmental difficulties. Because early family relationships are so important for all children, the evaluation process always involves extensive input from parents and primary caregivers. Many young children face stress and adversity, thus assessment and treatment approaches always consider the potential impact of trauma and chronic stress. Clinic evaluations incorporate state-of-the-art relational, developmental, and trauma-informed assessments and treatment, making this a destination for families across the region.

Who: This volunteer opportunity is a good fit for those interested in working with young children and families. Volunteers would need to be interested in providing assistance and child care during visits.

When: Monday AM: 8:30am-12:30pm or Monday PM: 12:45pm-4:45pm (One spot available per shift. Please fill out an override request, and you will be placed on a waiting list if the spot is already taken)

For both Zero to Thrive Perinatal DBT group and The Infant and Early Childhood Clinic (IECC) placements:

Where: Rachel Upjohn Building, 4250 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Transportation: The Rachel Upjohn Building is about a 15-20-minute drive from downtown Ann Arbor. CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation/Training: Prior to volunteering, all students will be required to attend volunteer orientation, complete online trainings, and sign a confidentiality agreement.

UNIFIED- HIV Health & Beyond (Section 014)

What: Volunteers will focus on HIV/AIDS prevention, advocacy, and education through a variety of opportunities coordinated by UNIFIED-HIV Health & Beyond (UHHB), serving 10 counties in Southeast Michigan). Volunteers will be assigned shifts based on the needs of UHHB.

Who: Volunteers will develop skills in community outreach, HIV education, public health promotion, harm reduction techniques, and cultural competency. All volunteers registering for this section will be screened to determine their level of commitment by the facility during training. Any volunteers who is not serious about their interest in volunteering at UNIFIED – HIV Health and Beyond is strongly encouraged to select another section.

When: Students will be expected at site for at least 3-4 hours each week, for a total of 30 hours by the end of the semester. Site times are generally 9am-5pm Monday-Friday with additional evening and weekend hours available to be negotiated with the site, and based on the volunteer’s schedule.

Shift options include:

  • Working at the front desk at the Ypsi UHHB office (answering main phone line, clerical work/support and answering chat questions via the UHHB Website)
  • Bar Outreach on Friday nights at the Aut Bar and Necto 8pm to no later than 1am
  • Mobile Unit Outreach in Ypsi and Ann Arbor (volunteers should verify that they are able to work within the mobile unit schedule; staff contact asks for a consistent commitment if you will be working on the mobile unit)
  • Assisting with other projects including the Michigan HIV/STD hotline, planning educational events, client food pantry (Wednesdays, 1:00PM-4:00PM), and other opportunities based on the needs of UNIFIED

Where: UNIFIED – HIV Health and Beyond Ypsilanti Office, 2287 Ellsworth Road Suite B (Next to Ypsilanti Family Pharmacy), Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Students who volunteer with the mobile health program are responsible for meeting at its locations. Students can also volunteer at the Detroit office on the statewide Michigan HIV/STD Hotline or in outreach.

Transportation: 15-20 min drive or 42 min bus (with 16 min walk) to UHHB office in Ypsilanti; qualifies for CEAL-Ride Priority.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers participating in this section MUST attend a volunteer orientation/outreach training and online training TBD. Volunteers can register and complete the online training at any time by contacting the designated site contact at UHHB (upon confirmation of enrollment in course and/or commitment to volunteer). An additional Chat Feature training will be provided for front desk volunteers.

Shelter Association of Washtenaw County/Food Gatherers (Section 015)

What: The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County (SAWC), located in Ann Arbor and housed in the Robert J. Delonis Center, is dedicated to serving adult individuals experiencing homelessness by addressing basic human needs — such as emergency shelter, food, healthcare and clothing while assisting them in their effort to establish or increase income, save money, and find sustainable housing. Over 1300 individuals are served at the SAWC each year.

Volunteers in this section will work with the Shelter Association in nearly every aspect of the Shelter’s services, including serving breakfast to residents, offering resources and information to clients, assisting staff with laundry, answering the phone in the service center (our 24 hour floor), etc. More importantly, as student volunteers, you will help to create a safe and caring environment where listening empathetically and talking to the clients are at the core of the clients’ and volunteer experience alike. Volunteers will learn about homelessness and the resources available to people in that position. Volunteers will also learn to work with a multitude of personality types and could potentially learn de-escalation techniques. Students may also supplement their hours by working in the Community Kitchen at the Delonis Center and/or volunteering during other shifts coordinated by the Food Gatherers.

Who: This section is a good fit for active listeners, as well as students who are respectful of individual differences, motivated, and who care about social injustice and helping the less fortunate.

When: In addition to the scheduled on-campus class time, students will be expected to volunteer on site for an average of 3-4 hours each week, for a total of at least 30 hours by the end of the semester. Shift lengths vary from 1 ½ hours to 5 hours. All shifts run between 6:00am-11:00pm seven days a week (including in the evening or on the weekend depending on schedules).

Where: Robert J. Delonis Center, 312 W Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103; Food Gatherers, 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Transportation: 24 min walk or 20 min bus (#6 to #9); CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation/Training: Prior to volunteering, all students will be required attend an orientation, or read the handbook, sign a Pledge of Confidentiality, and complete the screening form via email.

The Hope Clinic (Section 017) Hope Clinic

NOTE: An override is required for this site. 

What: Volunteers at the Hope Clinic will participate in helping to build capacity in one of our programs to help make lives better. Depending on their own skills, experience, and availability they might participate in supporting our Medical Clinic, Dental Clinic, Food Programs, Mental & Behavioral Health, Baby Care, Laundry, and/or other administrative tasks. They can expect to work with staff on developing systems to ensure more effective outcomes for our clients and volunteers.

Who: We are looking for students who are comfortable working in a Christian organization; although no particular faith background is required. Volunteers should be self-motivated and driven. The work will often require problem solving and critical thinking. Volunteers should bring an attitude of joy to the work and a desire to help make the programs better.

When: Volunteer time will vary based on what program they will be working in; but in general, students will be at site sometime between 9am and 5pm on Mondays through Fridays. Students should find a time to volunteer when there is plenty of time for delays in transportation. A weekly block of 3-4 hours tends to be a good fit for most volunteers, so that they can obtain at least 30 hours by the end of the semester.

Where: We will be hosting volunteers at the Hope Clinic Ypsilanti location primarily located at 518 Harriet St. Ypsilanti MI. It, however, a student would like to volunteer at our Wayne/Westland location we are open to evaluating that possibility on a case-by-case basis.

Transportation: Hope Clinic is a 15-20 min car ride from Downtown Ann Arbor and about a 45-minute bus ride. CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation and Training: Volunteers are required to complete an application, go through an interview process, online orientation, onsite onboarding, and may be subject to background checks. To apply for Hope Clinic, please complete an override request.

Image result for alternatives for girls logo

Alternatives for Girls (Section 017)

What: Alternatives for Girls (AFG) serves girls and women who are at risk of homelessness, pregnancy, gang involvement, abusing drugs or alcohol, and school truancy. We engage them through shelter, outreach, and prevention services.

Who: Students who enjoy empowering, supporting, and providing resources to girls and women will find the perfect place to spend their time, while sharing their unique skills and gifts.

When: Students will have the option of volunteering with the AFG after-school or outreach programs and their shifts will be determined at the mandatory orientation (see below) based on what is a good fit for the students’ interests/schedules and AFG’s current needs.

After-school program: Students will serve as an after-school program assistant to provide mentoring, tutoring, and programming related to social-emotional learning and healthy behaviors to girls and young women. Students will volunteer one day a week for 3 hours, and the shifts are Wednesdays or Thursdays from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM.

Outreach program: As a crisis resource center advocate, students will serve as a listening ear and conduit of information about resources inside and outside of AFG. Students will answer the phone and assist any walk-ins seeking assistance. The shifts are 4 hours and are available daily from 9 a.m. to 9 pm.

Where: Alternatives For Girls, 903 W. Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48208. Qualifies for CEAL-Ride priority. It is highly recommended that students who register for this site have a valid driver’s license, and are comfortable driving approximately an hour each way to site.

Orientation & Training: Students will need to complete a TB test (voucher provided), and background checks (including DHHS Central Registry clearance). Students must attend a mandatory volunteer orientation on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020 from 4-8pm that will be held at the AFS office in Detroit (dinner provided). 

Questions about these sites? Please contact