Blog Archives - Human Options

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Volunteer Spotlight: Youth Action Council

One way Human Options engages and educates our youth on the importance of healthy relationships and teen dating violence is through our Youth Action Council (YAC). The YAC are composed of two youth groups, each representing a family resource center where Human Options is the lead agency; at the Minnie Street Family Resource Center and the Costa Mesa Family Resource Center. Both our Minnie Street and Costa Mesa Family Resource Center YAC are high school level students who are interested in learning leadership and community engagement skills. The groups are successfully coordinated in collaboration with our funded partner Melissa Garcia, Volunteer Coordinator from The Raise Foundation. Since the YAC’s inception…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Pro-Bono Attorney Melinda Gomez

One key component in ending the cycle of relationship violence is ensuring access to legal services for survivors. Human Options offers eight monthly clinics through our legal advocacy program thanks to our volunteer pro-bono attorneys. One such attorney is Melinda Gomez of Gomez Family Law. “I began volunteering at Human Options while in law school, and after I began my practice, was honored to start the first non-residential monthly family law clinic for the agency almost 7 years ago,” says Melinda. “Every month, I get the chance to assist survivors of domestic violence with understanding their legal rights, and how to advocate for themselves in court. Human Options provides immeasurable…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Pro-Bono Attorney Christina Helwig

Access to legal support is critical to survivors of relationship violence. Through our Human Options legal advocacy program, clients are able to receive pro bono legal advice through our monthly clinics. One of our pro-bono attorneys is Christina Helwig of Helwig Law, who has been donating her time to Human Options clients for over 7 years. “I volunteer with Human Options because I believe in the work they do and I have seen firsthand the difference that a stable living environment has on my clients,” says Christina. “I love seeing my clients grow and change through the legal process. Human Options makes my job easier with their great support programs.”…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Hotline Advocate

Each year, Human Options receives thousands of calls to our 24-hour hotline from people affected by relationship violence. The hotline provides a live person to talk to for validation and support, and at times may be a person’s only chance to seek help. “Giving back makes me happy,” says Michele Skoropad, who has been a Human Options hotline volunteer for the past three years. “It provides a sense of accomplishment, and I love contributing to a cause that I care about. I feel it’s a part of my mission on earth to do what I’m doing.” Hotline volunteers assist shelter clients in meeting basic needs and support hotline staff in…

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Human Options Receives $10K Grant from Pacific Life Foundation for Second Step Program

Human Options, an Orange County-based nonprofit dedicated to ending the cycle of relationship violence, received a $10,000 grant from Pacific Life Foundation. The grant will support Human Options’ Second Step transitional housing program for domestic violence survivors and their children. Second Step is a comprehensive six-month transitional housing program designed to support homeless, low-income, abused women (accompanied by their dependent children) in acquiring skills, knowledge and resources to rebuild their lives, become self-sufficient, and obtain permanent housing. Second Step provides low-cost safe interim housing and services based on each clients’ individual needs and goals, including case management, legal and supportive services, evidence-based trauma-informed treatment/therapy, children’s therapeutic programs. Second Step also…

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Introducing Our New Board President

Since 1981, Human Options has been working to end domestic violence and foster healthy relationships in Orange County. Our mission is boldly lived out thanks in part to our passionate board of directors, led by newly appointed Board President Diane W. Biagianti. Diane is also Vice President, Chief Responsibility Officer at Edwards Lifesciences LLC. “I was drawn to support Human Options because it is unique in that it not only provides emergency shelter, but also helps the family by surrounding them with comprehensive services– through counseling, advocacy and partnerships within the community, over extended periods of time,” Diane says. “Surrounding the family with these resources provides them with a significantly…

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Thank You Marriot For Giving Back!

Looking to give back to our community in a meaningful way, 21 Marriott hotel employees from across Orange County volunteered at our emergency shelter on Saturday, February 23rd to take care of some much needed repairs, maintenance, and beautification! They graciously donated their time and skills on various projects which included:  * Sanding, patching, and painting all chipped drywall * Sanding, patching, and painting two ceilings where we had leaks from the recent rain. * Deep cleaning of House 3 and House 5 kitchen * Repainting the shelter’s front door * Repainting the handrails and Family Healing Center front door * Replacement of all A/C filters * Conversion of lights…

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Love Shouldn’t Hurt

As we celebrate the month of love in February, many others will experience dating violence. Unfortunately, teens are more likely to experience dating violence than any other age group. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience some form of dating violence from a romantic partner. Take action and show Orange County teens that love shouldn’t hurt this February in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). What is teen dating violence? Teen dating violence (TDV) is a pattern of behavior that includes physical, verbal, emotional and digital abuse, in a dating relationship. TDV is an issue that impacts us all. Together, we can raise awareness and promote safe,…

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Making the Holidays Brighter for Our Client Families

When Janyne and her two girls came into the shelter, they arrived with not much more than the clothes on their backs. They soon transitioned into our Second Step program where they were adopted by a donor for the holidays through our Adopt-a-Family program. Janyne filled out a wish list for herself and her girls not expecting to receive much but was overwhelmed to find that the donor had fulfilled the family’s entire list. She said it made them feel like they were important enough for someone to care about whether they had what they needed. Now, having rebuilt her life, Janyne wanted to give back by adopting a family this…