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Community Engagement Programs

Community Center Intern

House of Refuge


House of Refuge is a faith-based, non-profit organization helping homeless families in crisis by providing transitional housing and supportive services that assist participants as they strive towards more


About the Internship


Spend time actively engaging and investing in the lives of youth and their families that have experienced homelessness and are currently in transitional housing. A great opportunity to practice and gain experience in a range of skills including but not limited to mentoring, leadership, tutoring, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), lesson planning, event coordination, and literacy. The House of Refuge Community Center is a space dedicated to the youth of the families they serve that provides youth with a space in the afternoons after school as well as other events. Youth have the opportunity to spend time in a place where those present are dedicated to provide them with the resources to be confident, successful, and accountable.

The Community Center strives to provide youth with consistency and stability in a time of their life that is full of changes by meeting them where they are in their lives & doing life with them.

Duties Include:

  • Set Up/Take Down of Facility Materials
  • Program/Event Coordination
    • This will involve participating in programs already established.
  • Lesson Planning
    • Interns will have the opportunity to assist in lesson planning in addition to learning about lesson planning related to the program, implement planned lessons, & create their own lessons for the program. Intern will receive input & help for such duties from their direct supervisor.
  • Leading Activities
    • Interns will expected to lead various activities both in a one-on-one setting & large group basis. They will have the opportunity not only to lead activities already created for the program, but also those of their own creation specific to their studies. - Intern will receive input & help for such duties from their direct supervisor.
    • This includes working with/assisting Community Partners while they lead activities with the youth.
      • Free Arts
      • Gabriel's Angels
      • Family Literacy Night
  • Tutoring/Homework Help
    • This will involve participating in already established programs.
  • Direct Youth Service
    • Families living at House of Refuge encompass a wide age range, though not all ages are represented on a daily basis, we continue to seek out opportunities to increase youth involvement of all ages & will do our best to accommodate interns in serving with their desired age group.
Population Served:

Families experiencing homelessness.

Community Need:

The purpose of the Community Center at the House of Refuge is to provide a safe place for youth where they can learn, grow, & thrive through social interaction, mentoring programs, academic enrichment, family nights, structured activities, & the inclusion of partner organizations. We provide a space for youth to come where they are valued, cared for, encouraged, and supported. Having someone present in their lives outside of their family to provide that affirmation, accountability, & consistency is imperative during a time in their lives that may be filled with a lot of uncertainty.

House of Refuge Community Center Partnerships:

  • Free Arts
    • Free Arts for Abused Children iof Arizona is a non-profit that House of Refuge has a partnership with. Through creative volunteers that share their artistic skills (ranging from art projects to theatre, dance, and music) they provide youth with a means to express themselves through art.
  • Gabriel's Angels
    • Gabriel's Angels provides pet therapy for abused or at risk youth to nurture emotional development and enhance quality of life.
    • A registered therapy team, composed of an individual and their companion pet, spend time with youth engaging them to help establish and foster healthy social behaviors essential to development.
  • Family Literacy Night
    • Lead by the Higley Unified School District at House of Refuge. Both parents and youth have the opportunity to learn and practice skills to promote and increase literacy. 
    • Parents meet with a literacy coach while youth meet with volunteer teachers that lead an activity that parallels what their parents are learning.
Community Impact:

House of Refuge empowers families to end their homelessness, increase self-sufficiency, and bring stability in the midst of the chaos of housing uncertainty.