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Through the Volunteer Assistance Program, Community Services partners with local volunteer groups to help residents maintain their property. The purpose of the program is to unite owners who cannot properly maintain their property due to age, finance or disability with volunteer groups who wish to provide assistance. Community Services provides the expertise and experience needed during the planning, implementing and evaluating stages of each volunteer project. Volunteer projects involve painting and cleaning-up the exterior of homes that have a code violation, but whose owners lack the resources to abate it. All projects are completed with donated materials at no cost to the resident or the City.

 VAP Chase Oaks with CC VAP Group Working VAP Kiwainis 

Eligibility
The following requirements do not guarantee or eliminate anyone from receiving assistance; they are simply guidelines that are utilized to assist in determining necessity:

  • Reside in City of Richardson
  • Occupy home as homestead
  • Demonstrate a hardship such as age, finance, or disability.
Introductory Meeting
A member of the Community Services staff will meet with representatives from your volunteer group to discuss in detail the characteristics of a volunteer project prior to it being assigned.  The meeting will cover topics such as:
  • Skills - What type of expertise and experience do volunteers possess?
  • Interests - What type of work are volunteers interested in performing?
  • Commitment - How willing are volunteers to make a serious commitment of time and energy?
  • Dependability - How have volunteers performed in other volunteer work?
  • Availability - When are volunteers able to work, and for how long?
  • The Volunteer Release Form
Field Inspection
A member of the Community Services staff along with representatives of the volunteer group will determine a date and time for a field inspection of the property during the introductory meeting. During the field inspection, an agreement will be reached regarding the extent of work to be performed and a schedule with which to have it completed. Final assignment of the volunteer project will not be permitted until the field inspection is completed and both parties are in agreement.

Oversight and Review
A member of the Community Services staff will visit the property while the volunteer group is working on a project to ensure the group is progressing according to plan, to answer questions, address concerns and to offer technical advice and council.  Once a volunteer group has completed their assignment, a member of the Community Services staff will contact its representatives to offer and request feedback about the overall project.  Questions will pertain to the manner in which the project was planned and implemented. The purpose of this review is to help both parties become more efficient and effective in future undertakings.

Community Services expects all volunteer groups to:
  • Perform work to the best of its ability. 
  • Report to the project as scheduled. 
  • Follow City and departmental guidelines. 
  • Provide staff with feedback. 
Volunteer groups can expect Community Services to:
  • Clearly define goals and tasks. 
  • Provide as much information as possible. 
  • Assign projects that are complementary to their talents, skills and interests. 
  • Provide oversight and review. 
  • Foster appreciation and recognition for its contributions.

Acknowledgement and Recognition
Personal satisfaction is an important dimension of volunteer motivation. Community Services wants every volunteer to feel his or her participation was important and appreciated. While there is no predetermined manner in which it will do so, Neighborhood Services will formally acknowledge and recognize every volunteer group for its efforts.

Never volunteered before?
Even if you have never volunteered before, don’t be discouraged from participating in the Volunteer Assistance Program. Community Services assigns projects that are complementary to a group’s talents, skills and interests and provides oversight and review throughout the process. Community Services staff works very hard to ensure that all volunteers have a positive experience by making certain they are assigned projects they have the expertise to successfully complete. If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who would benefit from the program, please contact Community Services.

If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please contact Community Services at 972-744-4180 or email your questions or concerns to Community Services. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Last updated: 5/8/2014 1:03:22 PM