There are dozens of volunteer opportunities with Building Hope in the City (BHITC). Think you’re interested in volunteering with us?

Understanding Poverty

This training session provides insight and will deepen your understanding of people living in poverty and how to assist low-income people. Topics include research on the causes of poverty, personal models for life developed by those in the middle class vs. those in poverty and creating relationships for sustained change. This training is for anyone who would like to have a better understanding of everyday life for people in poverty, cycles of poverty and how to help people become self-sustaining to leave poverty.

Advance registration is required.  Cost to attend is $15 and includes lunch.  Please note – due to the interactive nature of this class, a minimum of 20 participants is required in order to hold the class, so please register early.  Our staff will review the number of people registered one week prior to the scheduled class date, and if the number is less than 20, you will be notified of its cancellation and refunded the registration fee.

Saturday, February 1 – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

BHITC’s Offices (2nd Floor)
2038 West 29th Street
Cleveland, OH  44113

Monday, March 2 & Tuesday, March 3 (must attend both nights) – 6:00 – 9:00 pm

**BHITC’s NEW Offices**

3274 West 58th Street (the former Gilbert School)
Cleveland, OH 44102

Register here!

Building Hope 101

The first step to volunteering with Building Hope in the City is to take ‘Building Hope 101 (BH 101),’ a 60-minute introduction to the organization. You will learn about our mission and ministries and find ways to use your God-given gifts and talents to love people in the city for Christ.  Building Hope 101 is a prerequisite for the Refugee 101 class.


  • Wednesday, January 15 – 5:30 pm at The Hope Center
  • Saturday, February 15 – 8:00 am at The Hope Center
  • Wednesday, March 18 – 5:30 pm at The Hope Center

Where:  The Hope Center
15135 Triskett Road
Cleveland, OH 44111


Refugee / Hope Center 101

Note: In order to take this class, participants must have already taken the Building Hope 101 class listed above. For your convenience, once a month, BH 101 is offered immediately before Refugee/Hope Center 101. To sign up for both classes, click “register,” select the date you wish to attend, then hit “submit.”

Refugee /Hope Center 101 is a pre-requisite for joining a BHITC volunteer mentoring team befriending a newly arriving refugee family. It is also required for Hope Center volunteers. Participants will gain an understanding of who refugees are, why they are fleeing their home countries, the resettlement process in Cleveland and how to handle various situations when working across cultures.

When and Where:

  • Wednesday, January 15 – 6:30 pm at The Hope Center
  • Saturday, February 15 – 9:00 am at The Hope Center
  • Wednesday, March 18 – 6:30 pm at The Hope Center


MissionSmith Sessions

Wednesday, January 22 with Randy White
7:00 – 9:00 pm

Elizabeth Baptist Church
6114 Francis Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44127

Inviting all Christian ministry leaders who sense a broader call for city restoration to an evening of encouragement and unleashing greater Kingdom movement in 2020!

Randy brings over 25+ years of incarnational urban ministry leadership to Cleveland, having served neighborhoods struggling with deep poverty. His efforts have also helped launch more than 40 social enterprise ventures. Globally he led doctoral programs of Bakke Graduate University, helping leaders from 39 countries imagine and implement new forms of community transformation in their cities.

Building Hope in the City welcomes Dr. Randy White from the Center for Community Transformation and Fresno Pacific University as we seek new ways to link arms and efforts. If you’re engaged or interested in Christian community development, church outreach, ministry among urban youth, incarcerated, individuals in recovery, homeless populations, refugees or who simply want to receive a little hope and practical insight, don’t miss this event!

Dr. White will unpack biblical and practical principles for city ministry. Together, we will begin to contextualize them for greater tangible impact in our city and linkage across the many sectors of Cleveland where God has positioned His people.

White is the author of many books and articles on urban ministry, the latest of which is Out of Nazareth: Christ-Centered Community Transformation in Unlikely Places (Urban Loft, 2017), The Work of Our Hands (Condeo Press, 2012) and Encounter God in the City: Onramps to Personal and Community Transformation (IVP, 2006).

MissionSmith sessions are free gatherings designed to forge the thinking and practice of metropolitan church and ministry leaders for greater effectiveness and innovation in mission, church planting and Kingdom advancement.

MissionSmith brings you and your team through a series of dynamic presentations from local, regional and national ministry leaders. The monthly topics vary, addressing a wide range of mission and leadership topics and practices, often through storytelling, lecture or skills-building sessions. Come and get equipped, inspired and linked with others at MissionSmith. They are all free with an advance RSVP, so select just the sessions that speak to your situation, or mark your calendar now and attend them all!


Global Conversation Classes

Global Conversation Classes are a series of trainings specific to BHITC’s refugee ministry.  All Global Conversation classes take place from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at The Hope Center, 15135 Triskett Road in Cleveland.

Refugee 201:  A class designed for those who have mentored a refugee family for several months or longer and are looking to help the family take the next steps forward in life.  The session includes considering what the next big decisions may be for the family and how to help them through the process.
     When:  Wednesday, March 25

Immigration 101:  This class teaches the fundamentals of the American immigration system. You will earn about immigration law and policy so that you can better understand what’s happening in the news and how to support immigrants in your community.
     When:  Wednesday, April 22

ESL Tips & Tricks:  This session offers practical tips and techniques for helping a refugee or immigrant begin to learn the English language.  BHITC’s ESL ministries need additional volunteer teachers, and those considering serving as a volunteer refugee mentor would also benefit from this session.
     When: More dates coming for 2020!

Cross-Cultural Communication:  In this class, students will identify and discuss barriers that might prevent people from effectively engaging in communication across cultures and review methods for applying effective cross-cultural communication methods.
     When:  Wednesday, Feb. 26

Preparing Students for Citizenship
     When:  Wednesday, Jan. 22

Pre-registration required.


Tutor Orientation

Tutor Orientation is for new tutors looking to learn more about ways to support children and their education journey in under-resourced situations.  Students as young as 8th grade can volunteer as tutors.  Tutors would commit to one OR two nights per week during the semester and each session is approximately two hours. Bring a friend to tutoring orientation and you’ll both find you receive more in return for your time spent tutoring than the time you invested.

Saturday, January 25, 2020
10:00 – 11:30 am

The Hope Center for Refugees and Immigrants
15135 Triskett Road, Cleveland

Pre-registration required.