Dear New Volunteer,
On behalf of everyone at the Ignatian Spirituality Project, welcome and thank you for joining our ministry. You are now a member of an exciting and growing movement with 800+ volunteers and 28+ teams across the country.
As a volunteer, your dedicated service allows ISP to make a substantial contribution in the lives of the many who need hope the most. ISP has a small staff and thus relies heavily on a generous army of volunteers to help fulfill our mission.
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available from which you are able to choose; leadership, hospitality and retreat facilitator positions are available with flexible schedules that fit busy lifestyles. We hope that you find volunteering with ISP a positive and rewarding experience.
This handbook was created to give you important information that will enhance your volunteer experience. Please take the time to read through it and refer back to it as questions arise.
Feel free to contact the ISP Director of Programs or your local Team Coordinator for additional information, suggestions, or comments.
Once again, welcome to the Ignatian Spirituality Project.
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
~St. Ignatius Loyola
Thomas D. Drexler
Ignatian Spirituality Project
Thank you for joining our National Network.
This handbook was prepared to give you some essential information about the policies and expectations of ISP, and thus serve as a guide to a successful volunteer experience. The handbook has been organized by topic to help you find information you need.
Volunteers of ISP agree to promote the values of our program and encourage one another to grow in faith. Much of what is expected is a matter of common sense and sound judgment. While it is not anticipated, it is important to note that negligence or disregard of the policies and guidelines contained in this Handbook may result in dismissal from the volunteer team and prohibit future volunteer opportunities with ISP.
You are also encouraged to talk with the ISP Director of Programs, or your Team Coordinator if you have any questions about the content of this handbook.
ISP reserves the right to modify the policies in this handbook without prior notice. The policies described in this handbook replace all prior policies, handbooks or policy guidance provided.
Thank you for giving your time and talents to help others.
Ignatian Spirituality Project
1641 S. Allport
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: (312) 226-9184
Mission and Approach of ISP
The mission of the Ignatian Spirituality Project is to offer life-changing spiritual retreats for people who are homeless and in recovery from addiction.
How do our retreats change lives?
By enabling people to (re)connect with God, Ignatian retreats lay a foundation of hope which can lead to long-lasting transformation.
Our Four-Fold Approach
1. Offering retreats and spiritual companionship inspired by Ignatian Spirituality to those who are homeless and seeking recovery.
2. Building a national network of volunteer teams to respond to the spiritual needs of those who are homeless.
3. Including on our teams men and women who have themselves experienced homelessness.
4. Collaborating with individuals and agencies working to end the injustice of homelessness.
Connection to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
ISP maintains a strong, intentional, and grateful connection to the Society of Jesus. ISP was founded by a Jesuit priest at the request of his Jesuit Provincial. ISP Volunteers, the great majority of whom are lay women and men, work in collaboration with Jesuits across the country.
ISP is part of the overall work of the mission and ministry of the Jesuits in the North American Assistancy. The 34th General congregation affirmed:
Jesuits are both ‘men for others’ and men with others. This essential characteristic of our way of proceeding calls for an attitude and readiness to cooperate, to listen and to learn from others…The Society of Jesus acknowledges as a grace of our day and a hope for the future that laity ‘take an active, conscientious, and responsible part in the mission of the Church in this great moment of history.’ We seek to respond to this grace by offering ourselves in the service to the full realization of this mission of the laity, and commit ourselves to that end by cooperation with them in their mission.
ISP is a work of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus, which means that the Province plays a critical role in sponsoring our ministry and offering key institutional oversight. While owning this ministry, we are a separately incorporated 501c(3), federally recognized, charitable program.
Office and Staff Descriptions
As of July 1, 2016
Directs the work and vision of ISP
Director of Development:
Works with volunteer Stewards to ensure financial stability
Oversees integral business operations
Director of Programs:
Oversees the national program ensuring mission integrity and effectiveness
Primary contact and resource for ISP Cities
Primary contact and resource for ISP Cities
Primary contact and resource for ISP Cities
ISP Cities (Year Founded):
Akron (2010) Morristown (2010)
Atlanta (2007) New Orleans (2009)
Baltimore (2006) Omaha (2009)
Bay Area (2006) Orange County (2014)
Boston (2006) Palm Beach (2015)
Chicago (1998) Pittsburgh (2011)
Cincinnati (2006) Portland (2014)
Cleveland (2006) Providence (2015)
Dayton (2010) San Diego (2015)
Detroit (2013) Seattle (2012)
Denver (2008) St. Louis (2007))
Houston (2009) Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul, 2011)
Indianapolis (2014) Washington, D.C. (2007)
The ISP story begins in 1998 when Bill Creed, SJ was invited by his Jesuit Provincial to make the Spiritual Exercises available to the materially poor. With his good friend Ed Shurna, Bill created a retreat format that drew upon the 500 year old tradition of Ignatian Spirituality expressed in the contemporary language of recovery.
In 2005, Bill was invited to apply for a founding grant that allowed the emerging organization to become a National Network. Subsequently, ISP incorporated as a 501(c)3 and in 2008 hired the first full-time staff.
The ISP Network has grown and now stretches from Boston to San Francisco with teams in 25+ cities offering over 200 retreats a year.
Goals and Philosophy
The ISP retreat is designed as an introductory experience. Over 90% of participants have never before made a retreat. It therefore has a gentle rhythm that invites and challenges the retreatant to bring his or her self to a God who is receptive and encouraging. This is a profoundly new experience for many.
The retreat has been shaped from a particular spirituality: Ignatian Spirituality. This spirituality, while inclusive of other spiritualities, is noteworthy because of several distinguishing characteristics: it is incarnational rather than transcendent and focuses on reflection upon lived experiences. The great majority of our retreatants have had their lives sabotaged by addiction. A spirituality that focuses on freedom from compulsions and obsessions liberates many to be in right relationship with God.
The retreat is traditionally small, involving just a handful of facilitators and about a dozen participants to help encourage honest and reflective sharing. The tested and proven format allows participants to again claim God’s commitment in their lives and thus experience the hope and strength that allows them to continue in their journey of transformation.
Important Terms and People
Coordinator(s)…………………. Leader(s) of the local ISP team & primary liaison with Central Office
Day of Reflection………........... Follow up experience typically 3-6 weeks after an overnight retreat
Driver……………………………… Volunteer who transports participants to/from retreat
Facilitator………………………... Volunteer who companions participants through retreat; named such because the sharing is mutual rather than didactic
Fr. Bill Creed, SJ……………….. Founder of ISP and Jesuit priest
Handbook……………………….. Document that outlines key protocols and understandings
ISP Central Office………………. Central office located in Chicago, IL
Memo of Understanding… Agreement between ISP Central Office and local team coordinator(s)
National Conference………… Annual, national conference for Coordinators and Stewards
Ongoing Companionship… Engagement with retreat alumni in a recurring method
Paperwork…………………….. Inclusive term for three forms that must be completed for every retreat: Waiver, Evaluation, and Contact Information
Percipio………………………… Online resource center and formation program that prepares a volunteer for ministry. Completion of training modules is required for volunteers with direct pastoral contact with retreatants.
Recovery………………………. Process of getting and staying sober
Retreat ………………………… A period of group withdrawal for prayer and inspiration
Retreat Format……………. Document that details how to facilitate an ISP retreat
Retreatant……………………. Shorthand term used for “retreat participant”; typically someone experiencing homelessness and in recovery from addiction
Spiritual Exercises………….. Retreat developed by St. Ignatius; focuses on freedom and right relationship; serves as guide from which ISP retreat is adapted
Steward……………………….. Volunteer who helps local teams generate financial support
St. Ignatius…………………… 16th century saint; founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Team Member……………… Anyone who volunteers with ISP
Witness……………………….. Formerly homeless alum who shares personal story on retreat
Scope of Service
Per the currently effective “Memorandum of Understanding,” the Central Office will provide:
I. The Central Office will provide the ISP Retreat Format and supporting materials for retreats, days of reflection, and ongoing spiritual companionship based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as developed and tested since 1998.
II. The Central Office will provide, as a 501(c)(3) Jesuit-sponsored ministry, the legal and organizational structure for receiving, raising, and remitting funds, the maintenance of accounts in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and quarterly reporting of financial performance.
III. The Central Office will provide and make available initial and ongoing formation for Coordinator(s) and team members. This will minimally include: access to Percipio (online formation resources), an annual local visit by the appointed Program Officer, and attendance for Coordinators and Stewards at the annual formation conference (National Conference).
IV. The Central Office will provide significant support for recently formed teams and teams that demonstrate programmatic need. This may include start-up funding; ongoing funding as requested and approved in annual budget; training, organizing, and re-organizing of the teams to meet program expectations and the goals outlined in the current Strategic Vision.
V. The Central Office will provide timely communication with Coordinator(s), team members, and broader public audiences to ensure mission integrity and financial sustainability. This will minimally include:
A) Pre- and post-retreat communication.
B) Publication of newsletters, annual report, and development materials.
C) On a quarterly basis, send key financial reports to Coordinators.
D) Creation and maintenance of website, social media accounts, and Percipio.
Per the currently effective “Memorandum of Understanding,” each local team, under the leadership of the appointed Coordinator, agrees to the following:
VI. Coordinator(s), as leader(s) of Local Teams, will be formed and trained by the Central Office and help form and train the Local Team. To ensure that our participants receive the best possible care and to maintain program integrity, Coordinators will ensure, at a minimum, that:
A) All team members complete an Application, and thereby agree to the terms of the ISP Handbook, BEFORE participating in an ISP-sponsored program.
B) All team members with personal, pastoral interaction with retreatants complete Percipio BEFORE participating in an ISP-sponsored program.
VII. Coordinator(s) as leader(s) of Local Teams will ensure that retreats and subsequent programs will be conducted based on the materials and expectations provided by the Central Office. The Coordinator(s) agree that following characteristics are integral to the ISP retreat:
A) The retreat is designed for men and women who are homeless and in recovery.
B) The retreat is ideally comprised of three or four trained facilitators, one former retreatant serving as a Witness, and twelve new participants from three or four shelters/transitional housing programs.
C) All participants, including the team, actively participate in the retreat and agree to share with transparency and vulnerability.
D) After the retreat, homeless participants who demonstrate the capacity and desire are invited to become part of the team.
E) The retreat operates out of an incarnational theology; that is, it attends to the concrete lived experiences and personal history of the participants and invites them to enter into intimate relationship with God in their lived experience. The retreat encourages reflection on life experience through practices such as healing of memories, Ignatian contemplation, telling one’s personal story and the daily examen of awareness.
VIII. Coordinator(s) as leader(s) of Local Teams will ensure there is timely communication with the Central Office. This minimally includes:
A) Communication before and after ISP programs with the appointed Program Officer.
B) Timely submission of annual planning documents including this Memorandum of Understanding, annual budget, and site visit plan.
C) Collect and submit the most current versions of required program paperwork (waiver, evaluation, contact information) immediately following the retreat or program.
D) Share best practices as requested.
E) Share stories of hope for ISP publications.
F) Attend the annual National Conference.
IX. Coordinator(s), in collaboration with the Central Office, will identify a Steward to help the local team gradually strive towards three progressive levels of financial self-sufficiency:
A) Direct costs for retreats and subsequent programs.
B) Direct program costs, plus training and formation expenses.
C) Direct program costs, training and formation expenses, plus support of Central Office infrastructure.
X. Coordinator(s) as leader(s) of Local Teams will ensure a minimum of two men’s and two women’s overnight and follow-up retreats occur during the fiscal year of this agreement.
Specific policies and responsibilities regarding the role of a Team Member are delineated in subsequent sections of this document. In sum, a Team Members agrees to:
• Ensure participants receive the best possible care and maintain program integrity by collaborating with other team members and the Coordinator.
• Use approved ISP materials.
• Maintain a consistent “way of proceeding” integral to the ISP program and mission.
• Coordinators are expected to make at least a 12-month commitment (renewable annually); other Volunteers agree to participate in at least 2 programs annually.
Liability Insurance Information
The Chicago-Detroit Jesuit Province, which owns and sponsors ISP, maintains general liability and automobile liability insurance policies that cover ISP volunteers. At times, retreat facilities or other vendors may require a “Certificate of Insurance” (documentation of this insurance policy) as a condition of use; ISP Central Office will provide this Certificate upon request.
Though the Province maintains automobile liability insurance that will extend to ISP volunteer drivers, the driver is expected to purchase and maintain at least the minimum amount of insurance required by the State. The Volunteer’s automotive and liability insurance is the first and primary insurance to be claimed in the event of an incident.
In the midst of a significant founding discernment, early collaborators made clear that the nascent National Network ought to be flexible. Rather than following the “franchise” model of some corporations (e.g., McDonalds), which might have rigorous and specific guidelines for operations, the ISP Network was envisioned to be flexible enough to allow creativity to flourish and controlled enough that the Retreat Program might maintain its integrity.
Following this reasoning and the Catholic Social Teaching principle of subsidiarity, the founders gave teams much of the responsibility for managing themselves. Teams, animated by the leadership of the Coordinator, would manage many of the details in advance of a retreat and discover for themselves the best ways in which they might work together.
The Central Office, then, envisions itself as an active presence in the teams, but in a supportive role, aiding and responding when a need emerges or as program integrity demands.
Models of Team Leadership
Allowing each team to develop on its own, several different team management models (or combinations thereof) have emerged all of which are supported by the Central Office as they allow the work of the retreats to flourish:
Some cities operate two independent teams, separated by gender, with minimal interaction throughout the program year.
Some cities, either still in their infancy or excellent at schedule management, have both men and women on the same team. They share a common Coordinator and support each other in the work of the retreats as appropriate.
Faith Sharing Community
As teams continue facilitating together, some have naturally forged a bond through the Retreat that extends beyond its conclusion. Some teams then invite faith sharing or other personal testimony at their regular, more frequent gatherings.
Understandably, some teams, owing to busy schedules and other demands have decided to limit the amount of gatherings and interaction to focus solely on the details of preparing, facilitating, and sustaining the retreats.
There are a number of ways in which a Team Member can connect with the ISP team, including, but not limited to:
o Every team needs a leader. This person (or persons) helps to ensure that the team is actively facilitating retreats in a way consistent with the ISP mission.
• Retreat Facilitator
o Accompany participants in an overnight or day long retreat
• Spiritual Conversation
o Some cities feature ongoing accompaniment at referring agencies or include a special session during their follow up Day of Reflection
o Reliable and efficient transportation is essential for a retreat to proceed smoothly. Whenever possible, we encourage volunteers to drive participants in their personal vehicles to help communicate a certain hospitality.
o A fundamental grace of the retreat is to be openly welcomed after feeling isolated for so long. As much as possible, we encourage teams to creatively develop ways in which participants can feel valued and special (e.g., knitting prayer shawls, writing personal letters of support, etc.).
o Work with the ISP Director of Development and local Team on fundraising initiatives to generate financial support.
While every Team eventually finds its own way of self-managing, here are some best practices which form a minimum set of expectations:
● Meet in person at least quarterly.
● Offer at least two men’s and two women’s overnight retreats and corresponding follow-up Days of Reflection a year.
● Communicate promptly before and after a Retreat, both as a team and with ISP Central Office.
● Create a forum for discussing roles and responsibilities for the team including any succession planning for leadership.
Training and Formation Expectations
To ensure that Retreatants receive the best possible care on retreat, ISP takes seriously the preparation of Volunteers. Retreatants arrive with a certain vulnerability that demands Volunteers proceed in a careful and thoughtful way. ISP has developed training and formation materials and practices that will prepare a volunteer for ministry. ISP expects Volunteers to follow the generally understood best practices outlined in those materials and formation events.
ISP will prepare Facilitators for ministry in at least two ways:
1. Enroll and participate in the formation program found on Percipio, ISP’s online resource center.
2. Participate in ongoing formation events in the local city (team meetings, enrichment days, team debriefings, etc.).
Enrolling and successfully completing the Percipio training modules is required for:
● Volunteers who will have direct, pastoral contact in any ISP retreat program.
● These roles can include, but are not limited to, Coordinator, Facilitator, Spiritual Conversation Partner.
Enrolling and successfully completing the Percipio is encouraged, but not required for:
● Volunteers who help in a more background or supportive role.
● These roles can include, but are not limited to, Driver and Hospitality.
General Formation Process Outline:
1. Complete Application.
2. Interview with Coordinator/ISP Staff.
3. Complete Percipio modules.
4. Attend a team meeting.
5. Shadow veteran team members on retreat.
ISP Volunteers are expected, at all times, to present themselves in a professional manner. Appropriate boundaries must always be maintained in the volunteer-participant relationship. Team Members must abide by all policies of referring agencies and facilities in which ISP operates. Failure to abide by these guidelines, or any listed below, may result in dismissal from the volunteer team and prohibit future volunteer opportunities with ISP.
Retreatants need dependable people. ISP expects that the Team Member will be able to maintain commitments to the retreat program, including arriving and departing as required; in the event those commitments cannot be kept, the Team Member should make alternative arrangements in a timely manner.
As stated in the “Liability and Insurance” section of this document, all volunteers who intend upon transporting retreat participants in their personal vehicles must: 1) have a current and valid driver’s license; and 2) maintain at least minimum levels of personal insurance coverage as required by his or her State of residence. The Volunteer must indicate and attest to this coverage as part of the application process. If a person is unwilling or unable to provide this information, the Volunteer shall not transport individuals to a retreat or any ISP-affiliated program.
Often ISP Volunteers are generous with the related expenses that naturally occur through use of their vehicles. If necessary and appropriately requested, ISP will reimburse for transportation expenses incurred in support of a retreat or affiliated program. ISP will reimburse at the current IRS rate for miles driven in support of a charitable program (at publication, rate is 14 cents per mile).
Alcohol and Substance Use
Pursuant to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, and in special consideration of the population which ISP accompanies, alcohol and substance use will not be tolerated during an ISP Retreat or affiliated program. Volunteers are prohibited from unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing or using a controlled substance.
Standards of Conduct
Mission and Values
Volunteers are expected to conduct themselves in a way consistent with ISP’s guiding mission and program goals. This at a minimum is to include: 1) honoring the dignity of participants, ISP staff, and other volunteers; 2) maintaining appropriate levels of confidentiality and privacy; 3) maintaining collegial relationships with fellow volunteers, ISP staff, and staff members at referring agencies; 4) maintaining responsible relationships to different communities of faith; 5) representing ISP in a way that maintains the program integrity. (For further reference, see Guidelines for Ethical Conduct, produced by Spiritual Directors International; available at: http://www.sdiworld.org/ethical_guidelines2.html)
Volunteers will maintain the confidentiality and privacy of the program participant (including Retreatants and Team Members) by: 1) protecting the identity of the Retreatant; 2) keeping confidential all oral and written matters arising during the retreat; 3) appropriately disclosing to proper authorities testimony including, but not limited to, child abuse, elder abuse, and physical harm to self and others.
Volunteers are also required to respect the confidentiality of any information to which they may have access by virtue of their position as an ISP volunteer. Volunteers may not disclose any confidential information to anyone not authorized to receive such information or to use any such information without the express consent of ISP. Confidential information includes, but is not limited to, internal communications, information about and communications with ISP employees and volunteers, its business plans, contributor lists, mailing lists, marketing materials, or information about parties having business dealings with ISP.
Volunteers, like our Retreatants, shall not benefit financially or commercially as the result of the Volunteer’s status with ISP. Volunteers shall not lend money or give gifts (monetary or otherwise) to Retreatants.
As ambassadors of ISP, volunteers must guard the reputation of the organization with the utmost diligence. Volunteers are expected to portray a positive image of ISP at all times and to address issues and solve problems with respect and thoughtfulness. All interactions on behalf of ISP must portray the highest level of professionalism and integrity.
Volunteers have an obligation to guard the ISP “brand” with integrity and therefore may not use ISP’s name, logo, endorsement, services, or property for their personal advantage or for the advantage of others without the express written consent of ISP.
Conflicts of Interest
To maintain the highest ethical standards, actual or apparent conflicts of interest must be avoided. Volunteers are required to immediately disclose to ISP any personal or financial interests that may diverge from or affect ISP.
Respectful Resolution of Concerns
Volunteers are encouraged to work respectfully with fellow colleagues to give suggestions, improve processes, promote ethical conduct and report unsafe, unacceptable or illegal practices without fear of retaliation.
Volunteers are expected to maintain appropriate boundaries among fellow team members, program participants, ISP staff, and other colleagues. This includes, but is not limited to: 1) awareness of potential power imbalance between Retreatant and Volunteer; 2) acting in an authentic manner consistent with ISP mission and values; 3) engaging with retreatants in a public and professional manner whenever possible.
Volunteers who violate any terms set forth in this Handbook may be subject to disciplinary action with sanctions ranging from loss of participation to dismissal from ISP team.
In an effort to serve our Retreatants, regular evaluations or “debriefing conversations” will occur after any ISP affiliated program. Clear and professional evaluations of a Volunteer’s performance are encouraged and expected. If performance is found to not meet expectations, reasonable accommodations will be provided for the Volunteer to improve one’s abilities. ISP reserves the right to dismiss any Volunteer at any time who does not meet the organization’s expectations or guidelines for ministry.
ISP does not discriminate in program or volunteer admission based on race, color, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic.
ISP is founded and rooted in the Catholic tradition of the Society of Jesus; our program has a distinct heritage, however, individuals of all faith perspectives are welcome and encouraged to participate.
ISP will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities as long as the accommodation does not impose undue hardship on ISP.
ISP makes every effort to ensure that its collaborating agencies have similar non-discrimination policies. Any Volunteer with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination should bring these issues to the attention of his or her team Coordinator and ISP Director of Programs.
Discrimination on the part of fellow ISP volunteers will also not be tolerated. Anyone found to be engaging in any unlawful or harassing discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the ISP team.
Participation within ISP is considered, unless uniquely specified at the written discretion of the Executive Director, to be entirely and solely voluntary. By completing the application and acknowledging the receipt of this Handbook, Volunteers agree that compensation or remuneration for work in support of ISP or any affiliated programs is not expected. Contributions (e.g., “dues”) are not required by ISP to participate in any programs.
As stated in the Memorandum of Understanding, ISP will make every reasonable effort to cover out of pocket expenses incurred by Team Members in a Retreat or affiliated program. This includes the substantial cost associated with the Volunteer’s participation in any ISP program. With the approval of the Coordinator, and as allowed for in the city’s annual ISP budget, costs paid directly by a volunteer may be reimbursed by the ISP Central Office. Volunteers are expected to submit expenses in a timely manner with appropriate receipts attached. Expenses submitted more than six months (180 days) after the expense was incurred, or without appropriate documentation, will only be reimbursed at the discretion of the Executive Director.
Volunteers are expected to be good stewards of ISP resources as our finances arise from the generosity of ISP benefactors.
Overall fiscal oversight and maintenance of ISP fiscal agency is generally considered the task of the ISP Central Office. Solicitation of funds and financial reporting should only be done in conjunction with, and at the discretion of, the Executive Director.
As with any human community, disagreements and conflicts can potentially arise during participation in the ISP Team. Volunteers are encouraged to resolve disagreements informally whenever possible. Except in the case of fraud, gross negligence, or other criminal activity, Volunteers are encouraged to first bring any issues to his or her Coordinator. If no resolution to the issue becomes available, consultation with the ISP Central Office is encouraged.
Dismissal and Voluntary Withdrawal
ISP reserves the right to dismiss anyone from the program at any time, at the discretion of the Executive Director. Dismissal from ISP includes removal from and immediate cessation of, any ISP programs or affiliated programs, and prohibits future involvement with any ISP programs or affiliated programs.
A Volunteer may be dismissed from participation in ISP programs for one or more of the following reasons, which includes but is not limited to:
• Conducting oneself in a manner deemed as morally or ethically offensive.
• Disregarding the guiding philosophy and mission of ISP or any programs/agencies with which ISP is affiliated.
• Demonstrating a pattern of failure to conduct oneself in an ISP program in a way commensurate with ISP’s guiding philosophy, mission, and generally agreed upon best practices.
• Having any serious physical or emotional problems which inhibit one from being able to reasonably engage with the mission of ISP.
• Decision by the Executive Director that the Volunteer is not upholding or observing the policies and standards of ISP as outlined in this Handbook.
If a Volunteer is considering voluntarily leaving ISP due to concerns about the team or the program, she or he should discuss this first with the Coordinator to discuss any reasonable ways of improving existing conditions or making accommodations for continuing involvement. Participation with ISP is considered entirely voluntary; ISP in no way compels a Volunteer to remain connected with the team and ISP will respect the final decision of the Volunteer.
Situations requiring emergency intervention have occurred in extremely rare circumstances. While ISP does not expect to encounter any of the situations described hereafter, the Volunteer is encouraged to prepare for and understand how to respond in any potential crisis that may emerge during participation in an ISP Retreat or affiliated program.
In the event an acute medical emergency occurs on an ISP Retreat or affiliated program involving a participant or Volunteer, other responsible Volunteers should:
1. Assess the situation and determine the most appropriate course of action.
2. Call 911 or inform the proper authorities immediately. The person having the emergency may be aided by information contained on the “Emergency Contact Form” completed and collected prior to the beginning of the program.
3. Remain calm; assist authorities as much as possible by following their directives; and document as much of the situation as possible.
4. Inform ISP Director of Programs as soon as possible.
5. When appropriate, the ISP Director of Programs or Coordinator will inform the designated Emergency Contact.
In the event of a severe weather emergency, fire, or other natural disasters, follow the broadcasted advice of authorities (e.g., “take cover”), or follow otherwise posted evacuation plans. When appropriate, and as soon as possible, inform the ISP Director of Programs of the emergency.
In the event an accident occurs while transporting a participant to or from an ISP Retreat or affiliated program, follow these procedures:
1. Assess the situation and inform the proper authorities (Call 911) with any immediate medial emergencies.
2. Call the local Police Department and request a report be taken.
3. Exchange insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle.
4. Call other team members and referring agencies to inform them of the situation.
5. Call the ISP Director of Programs and provide the following details:
a. Police report number, including any citations which were issued
b. Date, Time, Location of Incident
c. Persons involved
d. General description of incident
In the event a Volunteer experiences a threat to one’s personal safety, inform the local authorities immediately (Call 911). Inform ISP Director of Programs as soon as possible.
ISP is committed to providing a safe environment where all are valued and honored as an individual created in the image and likeness of God. In rare cases, ISP Volunteers may become aware through participant testimony of abuse of vulnerable persons. ISP is dedicated to upholding a culture of safety and the protection of all of God’s children from abuse.
The following testimony should be immediately reported to the ISP Director of Programs:
1. Impending harm, including credible plans involving physical harm to self or others
2. Current abuse of a minor or vulnerable person
Stories of abuse that participants disclose about themselves that happened in his or her past can and should remain a sacred part of the ISP retreat or affiliated program.
If the Volunteer reasonably suspects that something needs to be reported, the Volunteer should take this course of action and proceed as directed:
1. Tell another member of the Retreat team (ideally the Coordinator) and report what has just been disclosed.
2. Call ISP Central Office at 312-226-9184 and inform the Director of Programs.
3. Call the participant’s referring agency and inform them of what has been disclosed.
4. Call the appropriate national hotline and make a report.
For further information, the Volunteer may contact the ISP Director of Programs.
Confidentiality of Member Records
ISP respects the privacy and confidentiality of our Members. As stated in the “Standards of Conduct” section of this Handbook, Volunteers are expected to similarly respect and protect private and confidential information including names or identifying information, address or contact information, and participation in programs. ISP will never share member lists or records without prior written consent.
ISP is seen as a symbol of trust and as a powerful voice in the quest to end the injustice of homelessness. ISP will provide a response to media inquiries as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours of receipt.
Volunteers should forward requests for information or comments from local media to the Executive Director at 312-226-9184.
It is imperative that ISP speaks with one voice when responding to the media. Only designated staff members or Volunteers so designated by the Executive Director are to handle requests for interviews.
Volunteer Waiver of Liability and Consent to Release
As a Volunteer, the Volunteer consents to participation in ISP Retreat and affiliated programs and voluntarily and willingly assumes all responsibility for all risks and dangers associated with participation. The Volunteer agrees to be responsible financially for any losses resulting from the Volunteer’s actions and will indemnify ISP, and its officers, directors, employees and agents, from any loss or damage caused by the Volunteer during ISP Retreats or affiliated programs. In consideration of this, the Volunteer hereby waives all claims and causes of action against ISP, and its officers, directors, employees and agents and hereby holds harmless these individuals from all liability except such loss or damage which was caused by the sole negligence or willful misconduct by the aforementioned.
The Volunteer consents and gives permission to ISP to photograph or otherwise use the likeness or account of the Volunteer in connection with any ISP activities. The Volunteer understands that any such photographs, likenesses or accounts, and all rights associated with them, will belong solely and exclusively to ISP, which shall have the absolute right to copyright, reproduce, alter, display, distribute, destroy, and/or publish them in any form including, but not limited to, print, electronic, video, and/or Internet.
The Volunteer waives any and all rights with respects to any such photographs, likenesses, or accounts including compensation, copyright, and privacy rights and any right to inspect or approve such photographs, likenesses, or accounts and/or copy, print, or other materials that may be used in connection with them. The Volunteer hereby releases and discharges, and agrees to hold harmless, ISP, its officers, agents and employees, and all persons acting under its permission or authority, from any claims and liability in connection with such photographs, accounts, or likenesses and/or their use.
The Volunteer agrees to this statement, understanding the terms used in it and their legal significance. The Volunteer waives and releases the right to legal recourse against ISP, and its officers, directors, employees and agents, knowingly released in return for allowing my participation in ISP Retreats or affiliated programs. The Volunteer signature at the receipt and acknowledgment page is intended to bind into perpetuity not only the Volunteer but also any successors, heirs, representatives, administrators, or assigns.
Acknowledgement and Receipt
I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the ISP Handbook.
I have read and understand the contents of this Handbook and will act in accord with these policies and procedures as a condition of volunteering with ISP.
Please read this Handbook carefully before you sign this document.