Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of work is expected of volunteers?

Individuals working with the Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens will aid residents returning from a period of incarceration with needed services related to employment, housing, and other resources.  Staff will receive training related to available resources, state programs, and other needs.  Much of the work will involve helping residents coordinate with our partner agencies, employers both within and outside of City government, and institutions that facilitate professional development and certifications.  Much of this work with be performed in harmony with the Mayor’s Office of Citizen Concerns.

When will training take place?

We are currently coordinating with both the Trenton OneStop and the State Department of Labor to schedule at least two training sessions in order to offer some flexibility for attendees.  The trainings will provide an overview of available programs and resources for individuals returning to the community after a period of incarceration.  These will likely occur in September, and we are hopeful that Kendra Lee of the OneStop will help facilitate these sessions.

How many volunteers?  

We anticipate the need to staff the office Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:30, though we can be flexible with scheduling and may start with reduced hours.  The number of volunteers will depend upon their availability, and we also do not want to overburden any one individual.  Assuming volunteers can commit to half a day per week, that would require roughly 10 volunteers.  However, we are certainly willing to make accommodations however is necessary, and we may keep the office open for half-days only in the early stages, which would require less staff.  Some volunteers may wish to serve additional hours or multiple days if their schedules allow.

How do they register to volunteer?  

Interested volunteers can email Rick Kavin at and Andrew Bobbitt at  Volunteers will be required to satisfy the City’s background check and drug screening process, which is arranged via our Personnel Division.  These processes can take several weeks to be returned, especially as certain agencies are experiencing staff shortages, though volunteers can start provisionally until satisfactory results are returned.

Where will volunteers do their work?  

Volunteers will work in an office at City Hall shared with one other part-time individual who represents the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs.  The desks are isolated and provide for proper social distancing.  The Office of Returning Citizens will have a dedicated phone line and email address.

What protective measures is City Hall taking during the ongoing COVID-19 situation?  

Volunteers will work in the designated Office of Returning Citizens, located adjacent to the Mayor’s Office of Citizen Concerns. The following mitigation measures to address the spread of COVID-19 have been taken at City Hall:

Masks or face coverings must be worn in order to enter City Hall. When entering City Hall, employees and visitors must undergo temperature screening. On-site temperature checks will be conducted using an infrared thermometer or similar non-contact device. Visitors will also be required to answer related questions on-site. Employees should not report to work if they are having any COVID-19 symptoms. Each Department can provide relevant PPE to their staff as is needed. 

If a person being screened answers all the questions in the negative, that person may proceed to the temperature check. However, if the employee or visitor answers any of the questions in the affirmative, that person will be denied admittance to the building. 

If an employee or visitor has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, that person may be checked again. If the second reading is less than 100.4 degrees, the person may be admitted in the building. If an employee or visitor has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher after two checks, that person will not be allowed to proceed past the temperature checkpoint. 

Further, nearly all meetings are conducted downstairs in the City Hall atrium where social distancing and sanitization can be properly accommodated. Plexiglass screens have been installed to protect both employees and visitors. Meetings in larger conference rooms are permitted if proper social distancing can be observed. For offices that frequently interact with the public, plexiglass shields have been installed.

These procedures do not guarantee that the city buildings or offices will be free of the COVID-19 virus, but it is the best way to minimize the risk of spreading the virus in city facilities.