Washington State’s Volunteer Services (VS), previously referred to as Volunteer Chore Services or abbreviated as VCS, helps the elderly remain independent and living at home. This is done by providing assistance to seniors who do not qualify for other, more restrictive, state-run supportive services. Services are provided free of charge for individuals who cannot afford to pay for assistance.
This non-profit Catholic Community Services program runs with volunteer support and state funding as a preventive program to help catch seniors and at risk disabled adults before they fall through the cracks. A typical volunteer might spend two to eight hours a month with program participants.
Did You Know?
Ninety percent of seniors want to age at home, yet only thirty percent are actually able to do so without assistance for the duration of their retirement. Pre-planning for care needs significantly increases that rate. Learn about planning assistance options here.
To be eligible for Volunteer Services, individuals must be Washington State residents who reside at home. Applicants must be at least 60 years of age and have limitations due to health or have limitations in their ability to function, such as mobility. Or Washington residents can be between 18 and 59 years old and have limitations in their functional ability (this could be short-term limitations or permanent limitations).
While there are not strict financial eligibility limits, the individual’s income is considered a qualifying factor. Services are intended for those who cannot afford to cover the cost of care themselves and those who do not qualify for assistance from other programs.
Benefits and Services
Volunteer Services is provided free of charge by volunteers. Types of assistance may include any of the following, but can sometimes be limited by the availability and skills of the volunteers. Program participants typically receive up to eight hours per month of in-home help.
- Grocery Shopping / Errands
- House Cleaning / Yardwork
- Meal Preparation
- Minor Home Repair / Accessibility Projects (changing light bulbs, installing grab bars, addition of a ramp for wheelchair access, etc.)
- Moving Assistance
- Personal Care
- Protective Supervision
- Respite Care
- Chopping and Transporting Wood (during the winter months to provide a source of warmth)
How to Apply / Learn More
Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, a social service organization, operates the Volunteer Services Program. This faith organization focuses on offering programs that protect, house, and help maintain the dignity of the state’s most vulnerable residents. The organization has several locations throughout the state. Volunteer Services is not under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Learn more here.
More information and applications for the Volunteer Services program can be found on this webpage. Volunteer opportunities are also available.
Low-income Washington residents might also be eligible for assistance to help them remain at home via the COPES and New Freedom programs.