Frequently asked questions
When is the application deadline?
We accept applications on a rolling basis, starting Janurary 1st and accepting applications and interviewing until our first deadline for preferred placement on March 15th. Applicants with all materials in before or on this date will have the largest range of possible placements. After this date, we will continue to accept applications until all spaces are filled.
When does the volunteer year begin and end?
The St. Joseph Worker volunteer year starts at the beginning of August and runs through the end of June yearly. It's important that all St. Joseph Workers have no other long term obligations during this year (for instance, another overlapping volunteer commitment or job).
What are my chances of being accepted?
Chances of being accepted into the SJW Program are increased by applying before the March 15 application deadline and by being open about the kind of placement site experience you're willing to have. Final acceptance hinges on a few things: acceptance by the St. Joseph Workers interview team, compatibility with an existing placement, and available space in the program.
What are my chances of getting placed at the ministry or placement site I like most?
Those who apply early have the best chance of getting their preferred placement. During the interview process, we like to have people interview in person, if possible, at a few potential placement sites. This will allow supervisors and applicants to see how well the placement fits. If both the supervisor and applicant agree on a fit, then the placement can be secured.
What is the monthly stipend?
All St. Joseph Workers receive a monthly stipend of $100. Because the program also supplies separate funds for housing, food, and other daily needs, this money is for discretionary spending.
Will I get an AmeriCorps award?
At this time, we are unable to provide an AmeriCorps award to our participants. However, we are in the process of partnering with another agency and may have the opportunity to provide the awards in the future.
What about my car?
Those who have a car are allowed, although not encouraged, to bring it, knowing that the Program cannot reimburse mileage and only in special circumstances reimburse for gas and that this will not cover the insurance and other costs incurred by owning a car. We also cannot guarantee off street parking for personal vehicles.
The St. Joseph Worker Program provides for many transportation options such as community cars, car pooling, bus/metro transit cards, bikes, and other options for transportation to and from work. If St Joseph Workers choose to bring their own bikes for transportation, the Program does have limited funds for bike repair and maintenance.
What if I'm in a relationship?
While the SJW program can't accommodate couples, lots of women have been able to balance community commitments while in a relationship. We understand that women who come to us are individuals who need time to themselves. While there are many program commitments, most women have been able to continue to keep time for themselves and for other communities that are important to them.
How many people are in the program?
We are hope to welcome between 3-7 women in August. In the future, we hope to double or triple the number of workers on the West Coast. Each person will have her own bedroom space.
What should I bring with me?
Each room is furnished with a single bed, dresser, chair, and lamp. The living room, kitchen, and other common spaces are fully furnished. The house also has a computer with internet access, house bikes, and a telephone. Individual women don't need to bring very much to make it feel like home. Each woman decides to bring certain priority items with her, including clothes, decorations for her room, sheets for a twin bed, a pillow, and other important personal items.
What will an average week look like?
St. Joseph Workers spend 36 hours a week at their placements, with the extra 4 hours set aside for training, 1 to 1s, spiritual mentoring, personal development and program opportunities. Most of this work takes place between the hours of 8-5, although certain placements have individual evening or weekend commitments. Certain nights of the week are scheduled community time. For example, Monday night is "Sharing of the Heart" night-- in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph (who have been doing this since their inception in France in 1650), this is a time to share a meal, and share what's in our hearts and on our minds, in the context of spirituality and group sharing . Another night, such as Thursday or Friday nights, are "Community nights," when the community has some fun together doing an activity of their choice. Sunday nights are usually the time for a short "Community Check-in," a time to catch up with the others in the house and plan menus and schedules for the upcoming week.
What about health insurance?
The St. Joseph Worker Program provides health insurance. However, we do not cover eye or dental care. We ask that incoming St. Joseph Workers get a dental check and general physical before entering the program to set them up for the coming year. The program also pays for health care costs, including co-pays, up to $500 dollars over the course of the year.
What about my student loans?
Loan deferments or AmeriCorps affiliated forbearance are available for most federal loans.
What do Alums of the Program go on to after the year ends?
St Joseph Worker Alum go on to do many things, including finding employment with both non-profit and for profit organizations, pursue further schooling, participate in additional volunteer opportunities and volunteer abroad.