Peer Support Volunteers
Are you a person who people come to when they need support? Ever wanted to hone your listening skills? Interested in improving the lives of LGBTQIA+ folx in St. Louis by connecting them to identity-affirming resources? Join the St. Louis Queer+ Support Helpline as a volunteer!
We offer free meals, transportation (metro passes and a year-round carpool system), training in peer support skills, and assistance with career development (resume-building and letters of recommendation). You gain valuable helpline work experience, peer support skills, and crisis intervention techniques. You also join a supportive, empowering community of empathetic, dedicated LGBTQIA+ persons and allies!
All LGBTQIA+ persons and allies at least 18 years old are welcome to apply, but please consider the following requirements:
1. Applicants must be available during the Summer (June - Aug.) or the Fall (Sept. - Nov.) for the 55-hour new member training. New member training (5.5 hours a week for 10 weeks) is a weekly commitment on Saturdays 11AM - 5PM. Training is a serious time commitment and attendance is mandatory. We make exceptions where applicants have prior experience working in similar support roles, or where applicants are willing to commit to make-up training.
2. Active members must serve weekly 2.5-hour shifts for at least 1 year on the Helpline after completing training in order to keep SQSH running before the next training class enters.
3. Active members must attend biweekly 2-hour Active Volunteer Meetings (Saturday, 10AM - 12PM) for at least 1 year on the Helpline after completing training in order to debrief calls with the group and participate in decision-making for SQSH.
We seek a diversity of applicants as there is no one "type" of person that's suitable to join the Helpline. No prior experience is required. The skills and qualities that we're looking for in our applicants include (but are not limited to):
- Openness to learning, growth and self-improvement
- Ability to respond receptively to feedback
- Dedication, willingness to put in effort
- Genuine interest in the Helpline's mission
- Passion for serving the St. Louis LGBTQIA+ community
- Commitment to active listening and emotional support
- Potential to learn counseling skills
- Ability to support fellow members of a team
- Ability to keep calls confidential
- Willingness to learn about intersectionality and how it is important to SQSH's work
Folx who have personal experiences with or strong understandings of multiple marginalized identities (e.g. queer+ & trans folx of color) are especially encouraged to apply!
To be considered for membership in the Helpline, please answer the following questions. We encourage you to apply as soon as you can as we accept applications on a rolling basis. Do limit each response to one paragraph.
Please fill out either an online application OR print out the written application. Know someone who might be interested in joining? Share and nominate them using the nominate a friend application, and we'll reach out to them.
NOTE: Applications for Summer 2020 volunteer training are accepted from March 16 to April 17, 2020
What to expect after you submit your application:
1. We will text you within one week of receiving your application to suggest a few potential interview dates and times.
2. After you pick the interview date and time that works best for you, we will email you an official Interview Invite and a Time Commitment Form to gain a better idea of your availability to commit to the role of Helpline Volunteer.
3. During a 1.5-hour interview, we will ask you questions to get to know you better as an applicant. We may do an audio recording of the interview for transcribing purposes (If you feel uncomfortable with this, we will not do the audio recording). We will also do at least one roleplay about a challenging situation that a LGBTQIA+ caller could call about.
Note: It's normal to feel nervous during your roleplay! We will check in with you frequently and do everything we can to make the interview space and process feel comfortable for you. Our volunteers' well-being is our top priority and we want to reflect that right from the beginning of the recruitment process.
4. Within 4 weeks after your interview, we will email you to notify you of your Application Outcome. If you are accepted as a Helpline Volunteer, we will give you a week to accept or decline the position. Regardless of the outcome, we encourage you to stay involved with SQSH, and may invite you to join our Administrative, Creative, or Support teams as a valued project team member.
Our HelplineToll Free | 844-785-SQSH (7774) Local | 314-380-SQSH (7774)
Our Hours Friday - Monday 1 PM-7 PM
We connect the LGBTQIA+ community in Greater St. Louis with peer-support services, including a volunteer-run phone helpline and private chat, public resource manual, and resources for the queer+ community and their allies.