About Us

Our Work

Founded locally in 1911, the Northern California & Northern Nevada affiliate of Volunteers of America (VOA NCNN) is one of the largest providers of social services in the region, operating more than 40 programs including housing, employment services, substance abuse and recovery services to families, individuals, veterans, seniors, and youth. In fact, VOA NCNN provides shelter or housing to over 2,800 men, women and children every night. Nationally, Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people annually in more than 400 communities.

Our History

On March 8, 1896, Ballington Booth, the son of the Salvation Army founders, and his wife, Maud Charlesworth Booth, the refined daughter of an Anglican rector, made a bold announcement. In the Great Hall of New York City's Cooper Union, they pronounced to a crowd of thousands the birth of a new organization dedicated to serving the spiritual and material needs of the poor and disadvantaged - Volunteers of America. 

Maud and Ballington envisioned a movement committed to "reaching and uplifting" the American people. On behalf of the new organization, the Booths pledged to "go wherever we are needed, and do whatever work comes to hand," a declaration that has guided Volunteers of America's outreach efforts ever since.

Read more about our history.

Our Mission

To change individual lives, instill hope, increase self-worth and facilitate independence, through quality housing, employment, and related supportive services. 

Read more about our mission, vision, and values.

Our Name

The name Volunteers of America was chosen by our founders, Ballington and Maud Booth, when the organization was founded over 123 years ago. They volunteered to dedicate their hearts, spirits, and lives to help reach and uplift people in need. Our name meant the organization was comprised of people voluntarily choosing to help others. Back in 1896, a volunteer was anyone who was committed to a mission or cause.

Today, we are a nonprofit organization comprised of over 400 paid, professional case managers, housing experts, administrators, clinicians, caregivers, psychologists and leaders throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada. Our staff carries on the Booth’s legacy of ministry of service by helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential.

Our Ministry

Yes, we are a church, but a church can mean many things. Our work is all about helping others. Plain and simple. We are a church without walls dedicated to serving all people. Walls would constrain us.

Why? Because we believe in outreach, and in being in the field where people in need are struggling. And we do this through our ministry of service that is made up of over 16,000 professionals, working across the country, and touching the lives of almost 1.5 million people annually. We take our calling seriously because the problems people face today are serious: homelessness, poverty, unemployment, lack of education, just to name a few.

As members of the Volunteers of America organization, we care for people who feel abandoned, who have given up all hope. We care for the homeless and the developmentally disabled. We care for our veterans, frail older adults and seniors, formerly incarcerated individuals, people struggling with addictions, children, youth and families and so many more.