FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does training look like?
Faith Community has a general Formation to kick off our program in mid-August of every year. At this training, you will learn the ins and outs of being a Faith Community member. We'll talk about our charisms of Simplicity, Awareness, and Dedication. You'll learn about what will be expected in community living, and prayer, and you'll get to know those whom you'll be serving alongside. After Formation, program members report to their service sites, where job specific training will take place.
How many hours do I work each week?
Faith Community members work approximately 40 hours each week, in either a day or evening shift.
What is the work day like?
Most of our program members are placed as Resident Advisors/Case Managers. In this role, you ensure that the immediate needs of Covenant House youth are met through counseling and other concrete services. Most of your day is spent in and around the shelter, alongside other team members, making sure that the residential floor is a safe and healthy environment. Through check-ins and community building, you make sure our youth follow their plans to attain their short term and long term goals. It’s very similar to being a camp counselor or residential advisor – building relationships, building community, motivating, and celebrating our youth!
What happens after my year of service?
Well, this is up to you. Many of our members, who did an outstanding year of service, are offered jobs at Covenant House in paid staff positions after their year of service is completed. We’ve also had a number of people who have gone on to pursue masters in Social Work, or other service areas, or headed off to religious life.
What is a typical day for a Faith Community member?
Most days in the life of Faith Community members start with good cup of coffee or tea. That’ll wake us up. Today is your day to lead prayer, so gather everyone for 15 minutes with God. From there, you and your community members might check out the thrift shop for some new threads, then settle in for a community lunch. Work starts at 2pm today, so at half past one you’re off to the shelter. You settle in to the workday with youth check-in meetings, followed by a transition meeting with the morning staff who are ending their shift. Late afternoon means school is out and jobs are ending; our kids are on their way back to the shelter. It’s about to get fun! After hearing about their day, you and the youth head to the cafeteria for dinner. In the evening, you get the chance to shoot some hoops with the youth, and take some of the job searching youth to the clothing room to find interview attire for tomorrow. At night, you’re keeping the calm on the floor ahead of the floor meeting, which you’ll help lead. You and a fellow RA lead roll call and go through floor notes, all before dismissing everyone to their rooms for the night. What a day! Time to head home, catch up with your community over some brownies, and get some rest.
What stipends/financial support does Faith Community offer?
Born from Covenant House’s Franciscan tradition, Faith Community members live simple, healthy lives in witness to the youth we serve. Our monthly stipend is modest ($125), but we’ve found community members are more than able to support themselves during their year. That’s because we support each community by covering all housing, grocery, and transportation costs. In addition, we provide monthly social stipends to provide some fun times with your community members. Finally, Faith Community members receive a $500 vacation stipend as well as a $1200 End-of-Year Award upon completing their service.
Do I have to be Catholic?
No, we are open to people of different denominational backgrounds. In any given year about half of our participants identify as Catholic, and the rest come from a variety of Christian churches.
I haven’t been to church in some time. Is that okay?
We are all at different points on our faith journey. Everyone is valued. We hope that all who come into our program are excited about growing in their faith, through communal and personal prayer. We do ask that all applicants be honest with themselves and us about their commitment to the prayer pillar of our program. Is this something you are ready to commit to doing/leading a couple of times a week?
What's the application process like?
There are a few stages to our application process. It might seem like a lot, but remember, we are not only recruiting great people to work with our kids, but also great people to live in our communities.
Step 2. If everything looks good on your Initial Application, we typically try to set up an informational phone call with you to answer any questions you might have about our program. This is not mandatory, but many applicants find it helpful. If after reviewing your initial app, we feel you are not the right fit for our program, we will send you an email to let you know.
Step 3. Complete the Full Application. When you submit your Initial Application, you will be emailed a link to the Full Application. It consists of your work and education history, a short answer question, a life synopsis, a resume and 4 references. More details are sent along with the link to the application.
Step 4. Once we receive your completed application, we review application and reach out to your references.
Step 5. If everything looks good, we'll invite you to participate in a Skype Interview.
Step 6. After the Skype Interview, candidates who are moving forward are invited to attend an online Orientation. Orientation will give you a chance to learn more about our program, and to interview with the staff at each of our Faith Community sites.
Step 7. Invitation to Faith Community!
When is your application deadline?
Our Early Bird Deadline is February 1st. Our next Deadline is April 15th.
We encourage all candidates to submit their applications as early as possible for priority consideration.
I already completed my initial application, but I lost the link to the full application. What can I do?
If you have already submitted your initial application, you can access the full application here. If you haven't yet completed the initial application, please complete that first.
For professional references, I only have one reference from a past employer. Is that okay?
We ask that at least one professional reference be from someone whom you've worked with/for at some time during the past two years. The other reference can be from a college professor.
I don’t have a clergy member for my Pastoral recommendation. Is that okay?
If you do not have a clergy member for your pastoral reference, it is okay. However, be sure to provide us with a pastoral reference who can comment on your personal faith life and spiritual journey – perhaps a campus minister, friend, bible study member, family friend or mentor.
Can I take classes or hold a part-time job while serving with Faith Community?
No. As part of your commitment, you will be serving full-time at Covenant House, which means you’ll be working at least 40 hours per week. Outside of that commitment, we want to make sure you have time to build community, pray and rest. Having another demanding obligation, such as school or part-time work, can detract from your ability to live out your whole commitment.
Wait, this is a VOLUNTEER thing? Do you have any paid positions available?
Yes, this Faith Community experience is a year commitment of volunteer service. If you are interested in working at one of our Covenant House sites in a paid staff role, you will need to reach out directly to the site where you want to work.