Stepping In: Alex Rosado’s Dedication to Volunteering and Community Engagement

The responses below reflect the views of the those interviewed and do not represent the opinions of SSF, the Sacramento Continuum of Care, or our partners. These interviews serve to highlight the diverse contributions of volunteers in the homelessness response system. 

We are excited to connect and celebrate with Alex Rosado who was a volunteer surveyor at the 2024 Point In Time Count. Alex is an Environmental Scientist for the State who enjoys connecting with nature through gardening and is an environmental justice advocate. She is an active member of the Sacramento community. We celebrate Alex for the big smile she always has on her face and the many ways she makes our community a better place. Read about how she was introduced to volunteering, her personal volunteering mission, and her thoughts about launching into community service.

Describe why you were motivated to work in the volunteer space.


My first experience volunteering was with the local animal shelter’s Saturday adoption events in high school. It meant cuddling puppies, walking dogs, and sharing my love of animals with like-minded people. It was a high school graduation requirement, but once I was finished with my required 40 hours, I kept volunteering because I liked how I felt when I got home. Being helpful and giving dogs a break from a stressful environment meant a lot to me. I joined the volunteering club at my high school, where we rebuilt fences, helped host Valentine’s Day dances for differently abled students, and packaged grocery bags with local church groups. What I was doing might have seemed small and just a couple hours a day a few times a month, but what it really meant to me was that it was part of a larger movement to help others. The news may focus on the bad and it may seem like many of the problems in the world are out of my control, but I can decide to spend a few hours a couple times a month to help make a difference locally.

Tell us about your mission and goals when volunteering. 


My goal when volunteering is to be helpful and to hopefully bring a smile to a few faces. Learning about the volunteer organization, the population they serve, and other opportunities to help are all important to me, to help spread their message to others that are interested in volunteering. Presenting volunteering as something outside of yourself, that helps your community, is my mission.  



How does volunteering lead to long-lasting impact within our community? 


Long-lasting impact in a community is highly dependent on the consistency of the volunteer work and how that organization is viewed by those they are assisting. Good word of mouth and peer references amongst a community that uses these methods of communication more than others is why organizations like Sacramento Steps Forward are so successful in the work that they do. Their reputation is the reason people feel comfortable coming forward, knowing they’ll be helped as much as they can by kind, knowledgeable people. People who are non-judgmental, who share the work they do with others, and bring more people into the volunteer circle during large events that are highly dependent on the volunteer force, such as the Point in Time Count. The PIT Count is important and has a long-lasting impact on its own and it is successful because of the organizations that run it.  

Share a success story of how volunteers have made a difference through your organization or the event you volunteered at? 


I recently got a chance to experience an event by Lifting Spirits Higher, which brought groceries, showers, pet items, clothing, and a hot lunch to individuals experiencing homelessness. Lifting Spirits partnered with a church organization and not only were they able to provide a hot lunch, but they were also provided with packed lunches for later. Many people experiencing homelessness with a pet put that pet first and seeing an organization that understands that relationship and placed an emphasis on serving these needs as well was beautiful to see. It’s not just homelessness outreach, but also a fun event. A chance to dress up, take photos, and experience joy. 

What are the elements of a successful volunteer in the homeless response system? 


A successful volunteer knows that the “reason” why someone experiences homelessness isn’t just one thing. They recognize that it’s a complicated issue that requires acknowledging your own potential bias, that the solution might seem easy but achieving this might be difficult. Being consistent, truthful, and compassionate through something that’s difficult is essential. Reaching the goal might not be the straight path it first appears to be and being ready to choose between a fork in the road is as important as remaining compassionate, and also taking care of yourself. You can’t pour it from an empty cup. 



How can individuals or groups get involved with volunteering? Are there any specific requirements or qualifications? How can other organizations collaborate or partner with you? 


I think a good place to start volunteering is to search for volunteer opportunities within the organizations you’re already involved in. It may be a church, a local running club, or the animal shelter where you’ve adopted in the past. Some organizations may have requirements, such as a volunteer organization, and you might not be able to immediately start by cuddling kittens, but there are plenty of opportunities out there for those interested. 



We celebrate PIT Count Volunteers like Alex Rosado! She is a testament that anyone with any experience or background in our community can be a part of the bigger picture to ending homelessness in Sacramento! The PIT Count is a great way for community members to volunteer and be a part of system-level, data-driven work to serve people experiencing homelessness.  


In her parting words, Alex wants to highlight the importance of exploring unconventional solutions and sharing lessons learned when volunteering. She believes that even a little bit of help goes a long way, emphasizing that what matters most is getting out there and volunteering.  


Alex celebrates service by spreading awareness, inviting others to join, and views volunteering as an avenue for personal growth and community benefit. She inspires us to be more proactive community members, rooted in passion and commitment to making a difference, one step at a time. Volunteers like Alex encourages us to be intersectional in all the work that we do and remind us that volunteers can contribute in many ways.


Thank you, Alex! 

April 1, 2024 | Published by Sacramento Steps Forward