Y-NOW Volunteering

Children with incarcerated parents are 7x more likely to become incarcerated themselves. The Y-NOW Children of Prisoners Program aims to break that cycle, but we need YOUR help!

Volunteers are needed to support every area of the Y-NOW Program, however, we have a heightened need for volunteers to serve as MENTORS who will listen and provide encouragement, support, and stability.

To learn more about volunteering with Y-NOW, call or email Brittany Leon at 502.635.4393, or ynowvolunteers@ymcalouisville.org.

*All positions require completing a volunteer application, background check, orientation, and agreeing to the YMCA Safe Place Services’ Volunteer Code of Conduct. Training and ongoing support is provided to all volunteers. No experience needed.

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  • Mentor - A mentor is to support the commitment and participation of the youth in Y-NOW. To encourage the youth to stay focused on their goals and forge a path that is unlike that of their incarcerated parent. To foster trust and serve as a positive adult role model by keeping commitments, following through, and participating 100% in all activities. Some activities require moderate physical activity/movement. Mentors are required to commit to their youth for 10 months. They are also required one phone call and one meet up weekly. There are group meetings led by one of the case manager here at Safe Place every 2 weeks on Thursdays from 6-830pm. Group meetings count as a meet up for the week.

    Retreat (Full and Partial Weekend) - The Y-NOW Retreat is an intensive 3-day experience that helps the youth explore events that have played an integral part in their lives, and consider the futures they are committed to having. The youth engage in a variety of team-building activities, games, and group discussions. They will also have an opportunity to share what has happened in their lives, and consider what has kept them from accomplishing their goals. Conversations include: responsibility, commitment, integrity, trust, and forgiveness. Retreat volunteers serve as coaches, production, and logistical support for the weekend. Partial volunteers stay Friday to Saturday and full weekend volunteers stay the whole weekend.

    *Training is required for mentors and camp volunteers. Y-NOW will have a training session at Safe Place Services.

    Youth Enrollment - The Youth Enrollment Sessions are designed to provide an informational overview of the Y-NOW Program to all potential youth and their caregivers. After hearing the information, the youth will decide whether or not they want to be a Y-NOW participant. The role of a Youth Enrollment Volunteer is to assist in enrolling the youth in the program, and provide additional support to the youth and their caregivers.

    Departure - Departure Volunteers work as a team to create a safe environment and set the tone for the 3-day retreat and 10 month follow-through program. This requires volunteers to perform a variety of tasks including: performing clothing and luggage searches upon youths’ arrival to Safe Place Services, assisting youth to and from check-in stations, collecting and documenting prescription medications, loading luggage onto van, and communicating with youth in such a manner that makes them feel comfortable, safe, and acknowledged.

    Site Set Up - Site Set-up volunteers work as a team to create a safe and inspiring course room for the 3-day retreat kick-off to the Y-NOW Program. This requires volunteers to perform a variety of tasks including: packing and unloading supplies from Safe Place Services’ vans, setting up sound system, hanging posters, setting up logistics room, moving items in and out of course room as necessary, etc.

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