Places still available for July & August - book now
Homeless Support Volunteer Program in Portugal - Lisbon

Homeless Support Volunteer Program in Portugal - Lisbon

Purpose
Support marginalized communities
Start dates
Programs start every Monday
Duration
Choose from 1-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 18+
Accommodation
Dormitory-style hostel
Program fees
From £582 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Caring and compassionate volunteers who want to help vulnerable people battling addiction and related issues.

Project details

Want to support people with addictions as a Homeless Support volunteer in Portugal? International Volunteer HQ’s Homeless Support project empowers volunteers to help people at a homeless centre in Lisbon that aims to minimize social and individual risks caused by addiction. Volunteers gain experience working with people with addictions and help to provide them with food, accomodation, basic medical care, support and other necessities.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Homeless people in Portugal face inequality and poverty every day. However, with caring and compassion, volunteers are able to help to reduce these inequalities and support people in need.

As a Homeless Support volunteer you will work in a homeless centre with people from different backgrounds, providing food, accommodation and basic medical care. There is a specific focus on those facing the challenges of addiction, and especially those who have limited social or family support. The project aims to help reduce the social and individual risks caused by addiction and provide vulnerable people with a safe place to access the basic necessities of life.

Volunteer duties can vary but generally you’ll help with everyday tasks that include:

  • Preparing, cooking and distributing meals
  • Helping with sport and recreation activities
  • Maintaining the centre
  • Sorting clothing donations
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #1: No Poverty

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #1: No Poverty

More than 10% of the world’s population live in extreme poverty, struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. Growth must be inclusive to achieve sustainable development and an economy that benefits all.

Why do Homeless Support volunteering in Lisbon with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with the homeless in Portugal you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving access to basic necessities for disadvantaged people
  • Mitigating risk posed by drug addiction
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining community outreach experience
  • Immersing yourself in Portuguese culture
  • Exploring Portugal’s capital city

Volunteer requirements

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.

Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

Get personalized recommendations >


'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

LL
Lois Lloyd
08 May 2024

I was nervous going into my experience because I had never of left the UK on my own before. I wanted to volunteer in Peru first but decided to volunteer in Lisbon as it was closer to home and to provide me with more experience of travelling alone before travelling further away. I am glad I did this because I fell in love with Lisbon and had a great experience volunteering. I did plenty of research beforehand and could not find a bad review of IVHQ and therefore was why I chose to volunteer with them. Everything was well explained and the accommodation was lovely, with food available throughout the day and lovely staff. This experience gave me confidence, cooking skills, and pushed me out of my comfort zone. Would 100% recommend and even in the process of applying for my volunteer experience in Peru!

...
KM
Kaylin MacGregor
03 Apr 2024

I would do this program again in a heartbeat, and in fact I've already started preparing for my next volunteer trip abroad with IVHQ. For anyone who is hesitating, just do it. There is no downside to helping a community in need. Staying in Portugal for a month taught me so much about the world around me and the difference mindsets that the world has to offer, it was an unforgettable experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I recommend doing research about the area your staying in before committing, this definitely saved me some worry and allowed me to fully make the most of the time I had.

...
KG
Kayla Gore
01 Mar 2024

I truly enjoyed my time living by the beach in a beautiful castle like home and commuting on the train daily to my placement. It really gave me the opportunity to explore Portugal as a local. Very safe, I found myself walking to the beach across the street on a nice evening to watch and hear the waves crashing. The staff were amazing!

...
ER
Ellora Rao
24 Aug 2023

From this experience, I have felt as if I made a great, positive impact on others and served the community. Not only this, but I have grown as a person and learnt skills that I didn’t think I would obtain. If you are hesitant to join this, it was the best week of my life! I made so many new friends and had such an amazing experience.

...
NB
Niamh Boy
22 Aug 2023

I believe I left the program a much more rounded person. Not only does this experience allow you to grow individually, but my specific program working with the homeless meant I now understand the cruciality of caring for others - providing an outlet of unconditional support. This was a truly unforgettable experience.

...
DP
Daniel Paulsen
20 Jul 2023

Overall, I believe that my volunteering enabled me to grow as a person, gain independence, helped me forge relationships and gave me a sense of purpose. I would strongly recommend one to heavily consider volunteering and would advise them to bring a friend if they are hesitant.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

Volunteer Abroad in Portugal with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ Portugal Program is located in and around Lisbon - the capital and largest city in Portugal. It’s a veritable treasure trove of history, culture, breathtaking scenery, exciting nightlife, gorgeous beaches and great places to eat and drink.

Portugal and Lisbon have risen from poverty only this century, so while it is a fantastic and affordable destination to visit, local communities are still facing the lingering effects of previously being one of the poorest countries in Western Europe. Volunteers can have an impact on these communities by supporting local initiatives which aim to improve the lives of Lisbon’s residents and make sure they have access to all of life’s basic necessities.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday, and volunteers need to arrive in Lisbon the day before their orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Lisbon Airport (LIS). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, however, if you arrive outside of Sunday between 9:00AM - 9:00PM, your pick-up will incur an extra cost of US$65. Volunteers under the age of 18 are required to travel with written consent from both parents or guardians in order to enter Portugal. Volunteers under the age of 18 who require a pre-arranged visa will also need their visa application to be signed by a parent or guardian.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in either Lisbon. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Portugal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a prearranged location in Lisbon on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Portugal team at the accommodation. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Portugal – an introduction to Portugal, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for Portuguese language lessons if you’re on a Lisbon based project, and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays

You will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 6 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workloads depend on the project that you are participating on.

8:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast is available at the volunteer accommodation
8:30 AM Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
1:00 - 3:00 PM Lunch is served at the accommodation or at your placement. After lunch, you will continue your volunteer work.
2:30 PM Volunteers with afternoon or evening shifts travel to placement and begin work on their project.
7:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.

Weekends

Volunteers have the weekends free and Portugal and Lisbon are full of interesting things to do, see, visit, eat and learn.

Explore the old city of Lisbon and get yourself lost in the small alleys that are seeped with music and delicious food. Be sure to try the local pastry - pastel de nata and listen to traditional folklore music - fado. Lisbon is a vibrant city with many cultural and music events, you can’t possibly be bored here. If it’s nature you’re looking for - it has that too! Sintra Natural Park is only a short drive away and boasts wonderful castles and palaces. Come for a day trip to Arrabida beach and try the well-known local wines.

Volunteers can make travel arrangements further afield once in Lisbon, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers on Lisbon based projects will be accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel with other volunteers in Estoril which is a 5 minute walk from the beach. You can expect to share a room with between 3 - 13 other volunteers of the same gender however, male volunteers may share mixed-gender rooms with other guests if the male dormitory room reaches capacity.

Bedding and towels are provided, and there are shared western bathrooms however, they are not separated by gender. Staff will clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy. Please note that there is a 10:00 PM curfew in place at the hostel for volunteers under the age of 18.

WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as many cafes and restaurants in the area. To keep connected, the local team will provide you with a free local SIM card that you can activate to purchase mobile data for an unlocked mobile phone.

Private double rooms in the hostel, with the use of the communal bathrooms, are available at an additional cost of US$384 (approximately £317). These can be purchased as an add-on via your MyIVHQ account once you have registered for the Portugal program. All accommodation upgrades are subject to availability.

Volunteers travel to their placements from the volunteer accommodation via public transport or by foot.

Meals

Portuguese food is delicious and during your time in Portugal, you will be sure to receive some incredible treats.

Most volunteers are provided with three meals a day. Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, bread, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yoghurt and fruit. Lunch and dinner usually include local staples such as fish and chicken, as well as rice, pasta, vegetables, and salad. If your placement requires you to be away from the accommodation during lunch or dinner, these will be provided at your placement or you will take a packed meal.

Tap water is fine to drink in Portugal, however bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget US$10 (approximately £8) a week for this.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately £271) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $705 Equivalent to $101/day
2 weeks $1,065 Equivalent to $76/day
3 weeks $1,425 Equivalent to $68/day
4 weeks $1,785 Equivalent to $64/day
5 weeks $2,155 Equivalent to $62/day
6 weeks $2,525 Equivalent to $60/day
8 weeks $3,265 Equivalent to $58/day
10 weeks $4,005 Equivalent to $57/day
12 weeks $4,745 Equivalent to $56/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £271) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers on Lisbon based projects and on the Biological Park Conservation project generally find US$65 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses. For those on the Wolf Conservation project, we recommend a weekly budget of US$150.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Lisbon

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Lisbon! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Lisbon program.

Language Lessons
Language Lessons

Enhance your Portuguese language proficiency at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Portugal.

From £260

Check what's required to visit Portugal

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Lisbon
Population 10.46 million
Languages Portuguese
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+00:00

Weather and climate: Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild winters. During winter, from December to February, temperatures are mild and vary from 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F). Summer, from June to September, is dry and hot with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 29°C (64°F and 84°F). Rainfall is heaviest in December/January and driest in July/August.

Apply to check if you're eligible!
Apply for free

Other projects you may be interested in

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!