Our History

Volunteers of America Southwest assists homeless veterans with disabilities achieve self-reliance, allows men and women to return to their families clean and sober, cares for elders and those struggling with mental health challenges, and supports the futures of our community’s children through education and overall family well being.

How did our name come to be?

In the 1800s, a volunteer was someone who intended to promote goodness and improve the quality of life for individuals. At Volunteers of America, our staff embodies that idea and believes in improving the quality of life of individuals, children, and families in five regional counties. At our local Southwest affiliate, we have over 300 staff members at our 20+ programs who exemplify this mission and embrace lives of service. We cherish the dedicated work of our volunteers and supporters, but we do much more than that. Each day, we change the lives of our community's vulnerable individuals by proving services and tools to improve their quality of life.

For over 120 years, Volunteers of America has been a leading organization that steps forward to help vulnerable individuals across the United States. In 1896, social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth founded Volunteers of America, envisioning a movement that was dedicated to "reaching and uplifting" the American people. The Booths pledged to "go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand". Among its achievements, Volunteers of America is credited with starting the first correctional half-way house and is currently the largest provider of affordable housing in the US. Today, the Booths' declaration of service continues to guide Volunteers of America's outreach efforts.

Today, Volunteers of America is a nonprofit, faith based organization that provides local human services through a network of 34 affiliate establishments. Each affiliate operates as an independent 501(c) (3) corporation with its own governing fiduciary board that provides direction and oversight to the size, scope and make-up of service offerings. This local governance model ensures that communities are provided services that address their greatest needs. Affiliates of Volunteers of America, Inc. are bound to the national organization through a charter agreement outlining the terms and expectations for standards of operation. To learn more about our National Organization or other local offices, visit www.voa.org.