How the Program Works
There are 5 churches within the downtown core that donate an area of their facilities for the BOOTC program: Central United, St. Mary’s, St. Andrews, Collier Street United, and Bethel United Church.
Each of these churches has a designated day of the week for the entire season. 5 of them can accommodate up to 35 guests, and 1 church has sufficient space for 25.
This program is staffed by an astounding 1,000 community volunteers that make the program run as efficiently and effectively as it does. Each volunteer spends 1 night per month, 6 times per season, at one of the predesignated churches.
Each 15 hour night consists of 5 teams, and involves about 30 volunteers to provide the various necessities throughout the evening; ensuring that all guests are comfortable, safe, and well accommodated.
With what may appear to be a logistical challenge, is in actuality a well orchestrated and seamless transition of teams, and is coordinated as such:
1. The ‘Meal Maker Team’, with several volunteers that work off-site:
- Prepares the evening meals in advance for the guests.
2. The ‘Dinner Team’, with 6-8 volunteers:
- Sets up the tables/chairs, welcomes the guests, gets the evening meal ready, serves the evenings dinner, and cleans up for the next team.
3. The ‘After Dinner Team’, with 6:
- Keeps the coffee brewing, receives any late arrivals, and settles the guests in for the night.
4. The ‘Overnight Team’, with 4:
- Keeps watch, and ensures all guests are secure throughout the night.
5. The ‘Breakfast Team’, with another 6-8 volunteers:
- This team wakes the guests, prepares and serves the breakfast, then cleans up and puts everything away once the guests have left.