YSOP hosts one-day, overnight and weeklong programs for middle school, high school and college students. All programs include orientation, service and reflection. Our program is guided by trained YSOP staff who are responsible for the programming and supervision of the participants.   Adult participants also mentor student participants.

YSOP programs begin with a detailed orientation, which includes a discussion about volunteering and the populations YSOP serves and helps students prepare for the day. We also emphasize measures to assure the safety of all participants. The group is divided into smaller teams with adult leaders, typically 5-10 people. Each day, the teams travel on foot or by public transportation to service agencies across the city who serve the needs of low income, homeless and hungry communities. YSOP carefully and regularly monitors all worksites to ensure that the sites are organized and safe, that YSOP volunteers are utilized efficiently, and that everyone is treated with respect. 

All YSOP programs also include a reflection after each service experience.  Experienced YSOP staff lead the group in various activities where participants can share their impressions of the day and explore the root causes of the issues.  Participants are encouraged to think of ways they can connect the YSOP service experience to their daily lives.

A YSOP Workcamp is a great way to serve and connect with those in need. Workcamps can be an effective way to kick off a program or educational initiative, build team spirit, enhance student leadership, give direction to a group, unify a diverse set of individuals, or bring a year to a meaningful close.  Participants learn about the lives of those most neglected by our society and learn about the issues facing our community today.

YSOP also offers specialized programs for groups who may want a different time frame other than those already listed.


For information about scheduling a program or to see what program is the best match for your group please contact:


NY: Lisa Gesson

       212.598.0973 x100


DC: Danielle Stonehirsch



The minimum number of participants required for each program includes both students and adults. YSOP fees apply to both adult and student participants.


Overnight Service Program

A YSOP Overnight Service Program is a 24 hour service immersion program that runs from 4:00 in the afternoon until late afternoon the following day. The program begins with a community meal where participants prepare and share in a meal with homeless guests. The following day, participants spend 1 day volunteering at various sites around the city.

Participant groups typically lodge at YSOP and staff members are on hand at all times to assist the group.

Fee: $105 pp.  Includes lodging at YSOP, all meals, travel to and from service sites, YSOP t-shirt

Minimum # of participants: 20, unless there is another group registered.


Service Week and College Alternative Break

Penn State Fall Break at YSOP DC - video by student participant, Mohammed Al-Maimani

A Service Week is 4 days and typically runs from Monday through Thursday. Participants spend 4 days serving in various communities throughout the city. By serving with different organizations during the week, participants have an opportunity to learn about a variety of agencies, gain experience doing different types of service work and learn about the different communities throughout the city. A work day typically lasts 4-5 hours, giving participants a chance to explore the city on their own as well.

One evening, after a day of service, participants prepare a community meal at YSOP, which they share over games and conversations with YSOP homeless and hungry guests.

One afternoon participants have the option to meet with a resource person, someone involved in direct service or advocacy for homeless and hungry people, or with someone who is currently or formerly homeless. In sharing frontline experiences and reflections, the speaker draws the students into a discussion on the causes of hunger and homelessness, society's response to homelessness, and the students own feelings about these issues.

Fee: $145 pp.  Includes 1 breakfast, 1 dinner, 4 lunches, daily travel to and from service sites, 1 YSOP t-shirt

Lodging: weeklong lodging is available in DC only. $40 pp/night.  Based on availability.

Minimum # of participants: 12, if another group is not already registered. 

PDF - YSOP Service Week Tentative Schedule


Service Day 

A YSOP Service Day typically is from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm and includes 4-5 hours of hands-on volunteer work at various service sites.  

This is a great program for groups who are looking for a short-term meaningful and educational service experience.

Fee: $52 pp. Includes breakfast and lunch, travel to and from service sites, YSOP t-shirt

Minimum # of participants:  weekdays 12; weekends 20.


Service Meal Party in Washington, DC

A YSOP Service Party is an opportunity for people to prepare, serve and share a community meal with YSOP homeless and hungry guests who are living in a local shelter or on the street. This program is 4-5 hours where participants prepare a meal, which they share over games and conversation with our guests. 

  • Fee: $750 minimum for groups up to 15 people.  If over 15 people in your group, an additional fee of $50 per participant 12 years old and over or $10 per participant under 12.  

  • Minimum participant age is 5 years old.  

  • Minimum # of participants: weekday 15; Saturday 20 (no Sundays).

  • For an additional fee, a guest speaker from the local community (ex. Government official, non-profit leader, homeless or hungry individual) can speak to group before or after the meal.

  • Service Meal Parties can be combined with Service Days, which include an additional 4 hours of service at a local non-profit before or after the meal. Total cost: $85 per person, 12 person minimum for a weekday, 20 person minimum for a Saturday.