Blog Archives - Human Options

“Behind the Donations”: Cut Like Crystal

Crystal Salaz is a Human Options Hero! Crystal is a Personal Trainer at Fitness Fire, who decided to lead a birthday fitness fundraiser in support of Human Options! Crystal was successfully able to build a team and able raise awareness and dollars in support of our programs and services. We had the chance to check-in to learn more about Crystal and her personal connection to the work we do! Can you please share a little bit about yourself and your company? My name is Crystal Salaz. I am a Personal Trainer at Fitness on Fire. Fitness on Fire is a safe place for growth and development, a place to learn…

Success Stories: Cindy’s Story

When Cindy married her husband at age 19, she would have never imagined what the next 50 years with her husband would be like. Her husband would call her names, threaten her with weapons, and demean her in front of friends and family. Growing up in a strong Catholic family, Cindy did not believe in divorce. Cindy married with the intent to be “a good wife and mother”, but did not understand it meant she had to endure her husband’s behavior and abuse….til’ death do they part?   Cindy is 69 years old, scared, alone, and living in darkness. She attempted to get help once 15 years ago when she…

Success Stories: Joe’s Story

When 74-year-old Joe became a widower four years ago, his life and well-being were more at-risk than at any point in his entire life. Joe’s son Kevin, who was continuing to battle an addiction to prescription drugs, had always lived with Joe and his wife. Joe has been emotionally and physically abused by his son for many years, but things became more extreme when his wife passed. For the next year, Joe endured and continued to be physically and financially abused, having no access to his finances to get help. When Joe was finally seen by neighbors with having scratches and marks on his face and arms, a report was…

Meet Our New Board Member

Clay Richardson is Co-Founder and Chief Excelerator at Digital FastForward, a leading innovation consultancy focused on helping companies learn, grow, and accelerate innovation through the application of design thinking. He has spent most of his career helping corporate and public-sector leaders build and execute strategies around new and disruptive technologies. Formerly with Forrester Research, a leading market research firm, Clay oversaw research and strategic advisory engagements focused on digital innovation, design thinking, and digital transformation. Prior to joining Forrester, Clay served in senior roles with leading management consulting and software product companies. Clay is a Design Thinking Master Facilitator, and frequent keynote speaker at digital innovation and thought leadership events….

Success Stories: Mariah’s Story

Mariah worked as a successful insurance agent and the primary provider for her and her two children. Mariah was very social and outgoing. She played softball for a league in her community, with lots of support from her family and friends, mainly her mom, who was an Air-Force Veteran. Mariah had previously left her abusive partner and was living in her own apartment, but reconciled with him just prior to the pandemic. Although Mariah was able to recognize the cycle of abuse she was experiencing with her partner, she had reconciled in hopes her partner had changed and the abuse never happen again. During the pandemic, Mariah lost her job,…

Staff Spotlight: Gisela Barroso, Legal Advocate

Gisela joined the Human Options family as a Legal Advocate in January and is a team member at Corbin Family Resource Center. Gisela quickly became an essential part of the team, helping many of our families through Legal Advocacy services. Gisela is a graduate of the University of La Verne in Criminology. She has experience in working at the OC Sheriffs Crime Lab, as a Medical Interpreter, and as a Hotline Advocate.  Gisela enjoys dancing, skating, listening to music, and hiking in her spare time.  When asked about her experience at Human Options so far, Gisela shared, “What I like most about being a Legal Advocate, is that I get…

Success Stories: Jessica’s Story

Jessica, mother of two, was fleeing a physically and emotionally abusive aggressor – her children’s father. Jessica’s aggressor would target their son with his frustrations, typically blaming either him or Jessica for any problems. This type of behavior modeled to their children led to their son mirroring some of these behaviors when upset. Due to the extreme domestic and child abuse in the home, and in order to keep herself and children safe, Jessica called Human Options Hotline. Jessica and her children entered the Emergency Shelter the same day. While at Emergency Shelter, Jessica focused on supporting her children and their new stability. The Children’s Advocate provided parent coaching for…

Success Stories: Ellie’s Story

Thirty-six year old Ellie endured a traumatic three-year relationship with the father of her youngest child. Ellie experienced brutal physical and verbal abuse along with the destruction of her property from time to time. Ellie and her children were able to escape and ready to transition into the next step for safety. Ellie and her four children came to Second Step in hopes to create stability and safety for her and her children. When Ellie started Second Step, she was on medical leave from her job as a case manager at a medical company. Her disability resulted from her relationship. Shortly after starting the Second Step program, Ellie had to…

Staff Spotlight: Claudia Medina, AMFT, Therapist

Claudia Medina is one of Human Options’ dedicated therapists.  She provides vital mental health services at one of our 8 Family Resource Centers, the Corbin Center located in Santa Ana. Claudia has worked with youth through partnerships with our local schools in the City of Santa Ana and also serves adults and seniors in the community. Claudia a bilingual clinician who specializes in working with survivors of domestic violence and facilitates a variety of groups throughout the year . When reflecting on her work, Claudia shared, “I enjoy working with our clients and providing individual therapy. Knowing that with one single session I can touch a client’s life is very…

Honoring the Selfless During Social Work Month: 5 Tips for Self-Care

March is Social Work Month, and now more than ever, the theme “social workers are essential” takes on a new meaning. Each day at Human Options our advocates work to meet the constant need for help—at our overwhelmed family resource centers and shelters,— all while enduring the impact of the pandemic. Despite the support we provide each other, our clients, and their family members, it is important for professionals whose mission it is to stabilize those in crisis, to care for their own mental and physical health—to practice as much self-care as possible.   Providing compassionate, life-saving support, calls for a deep investment of mental and emotional capacity. Social workers…