Blog Archives - Human Options

Attorney Helps Victims Navigate Complex Legal Options Amid Spike in Domestic Violence

Today, B. Robert Farzad, Esq., is a successful attorney, but his childhood experience of witnessing domestic violence in Iran has never left him. In fact, it shaped his adult life and drives his passion in his family law firm, where they have seen alarming spikes in restraining order requests and domestic violence-related legal needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm works with Human Options’ clients once a week, every week at the emergency shelter. These clients are often in a state of crisis and have to make difficult decisions quickly about restraining orders, custody, divorce, or police reports. In part, what he witnessed as a child, is why Farzad feels…

Survivor Stories: Karla’s Story

During COVID-19, survivors have faced many challenges, which required them to redirect their goals in their journey to healing. Karla had many setbacks when the pandemic happened.  To accommodate Karla’s family, our transitional living program, Second Step, was able to provide her an extension to continue participating in the program. During the extension, Karla was determined to secure her housing situation. Through the support of Human Options, Karla was able to secure permanent housing and was projected to start employment two weeks after her move in date. Due to the virus, Karla was informed she was not allowed to start employment. Not letting this delay her path to move forward…

“Behind the Donations”: Meet Mark Cleveland

The pandemic has left many of our clients struggling to meet their most basic needs. Through our partnerships, we have been leveraging as many resources as possible to provide basic items such as food, diapers, cleaning supplies, and more. Many members of our community have recognized these increased needs and have stepped up to make their unique contributions, like Mark Cleveland of Avanti Café. When the pandemic hit, he decided to bake loaves of bread for folks in need and was referred to Human Options by a friend. We had the chance to connect with Mark, to learn and share about his support to Human Options.   Human Options: Q: Can you…

Training Advocates during the Pandemic

  This last month Human Options hosted the 40-hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training. We successfully trained 59 new advocates that will help us continue the work in Orange County. Our advocates come from various fields and expertise, including: UCI, CSUF, Azusa Pacific, Santa Ana College students, attorneys at law from Community Legal Aid SoCal, staff from the Department of Child Support Services, staff from Families Forward, Children and Family Futures, as well as two of our Teen Ambassadors. Congratulations to our 59 advocates that are now trained and can help our community to help end relationship violence! “All of the speakers were very well prepared and provided great resources, knowledge,…

Back to School at Human Options

Schools are an important part of the infrastructure of communities and play a critical role in supporting the whole child, not just their academic achievement. Here at Human Options, the amazing staff at our Residential sites are diligently working with our local school districts to obtain free and/or low cost internet services and Chromebooks to complete the mandatory distance learning for the Fall semester. At our Shelter we are planning to offer the Children’s Program classroom or an outside area as a space for the students to complete their distance learning. “We are hoping that creating this safe space will foster the encouragement among students to complete their daily lesson…

Margaret’s Journey of Empowerment

Margaret was first introduced to Human Options after a friend recommend she attend some classes offered through the Community Health Enrichment Collaborative (CHEC) Family Resource Center. Through her participation in the Personal Empowerment Program, parenting classes, and individual counseling, Margaret was able to identify that the abuse in her relationship was not her fault. She thought of leaving several times in the past but was hesitant because she wanted a family for her children. During the quarantine, the abuse severally escalated. The pandemic had caused Margaret’s husband to lose several jobs – which he in turn, blamed Margaret. As his stress rose with the continuous job loss and financial strain,…

Staff Spotlight- Susana Sosa

Meet Susana Sosa, our new Program Supervisor for Newport Mesa Family Resource Center! Susana has a passion in helping others access supportive services that have a transformative impact on individuals, families, and communities.  Her passion guided her to pursue a Master’s in Counseling as well as to pursue positions that have given her the opportunity to coordinate various programs, services, and events that have supported vulnerable populations.  She also has taught several courses at Santa Ana College and enjoys mentoring and supporting others on their professional/career journey.   She is excited about being part of the Human Options team and looks forward in working together to support and empower our community…

Self-Care Tips for this Summer

  We understand that the recent re-closures are stressful for everyone. It is important to make sure to take time for self-care. Here are some self-care tips from our therapists that everyone can try this summer.   Self-care is a process and it may look different for everyone. Before you start or jump into a new self-care journey, it can be helpful to know where you’re at right now. Evaluating what you’re currently doing can help you identify the areas that may need a bit more attention.   When it comes to taking care of yourself, consistency is key. Focus on activities that you can participate in regularly. Even if…

A Message From Human Options’ CEO, We Are Here With You

Dear Human Options Family,   Over the last couple of weeks, we have watched individuals come together across the US, triggered by the tragic and inexcusable death of George Floyd. Our hearts are heavy with the understanding of the fear, pain, and sense of hopelessness caused by violence.   Human Options is committed to ensuring that every person lives free from fear regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. We believe that dignity is a basic human right and we condemn all acts of violence, discrimination and hate.    We recognize that disparities in communities of color create barriers to survivors’ safety. We will continue to advocate for racial equity by listening, learning…

Letters of Hope

Human Options’ Safe Options for Seniors  (SOS) program provides services to seniors in Orange County who have experienced abuse. During this scary and uncertain time, some seniors are experiencing feelings of anxiety and loneliness. Our incredible Teen Ambassadors were there to help! They wrote letters of encouragement and support to the seniors in our SOS program to let them know that they are here for them.  Hello, I have been a Human Options Teen Ambassador for about 3 years now. I am currently in my first year college. I know with times like this, uncertainty comes in, but I am here to let you know that I hear you, I…