Uncategorized Archives - Human Options

Meet Our Chief Operations Officer!

We are so excited to announce our new Chief Operations Officer, Sara Behmerwohld, Esq.! Sara has led the Legal Advocacy Services and Program at Human Options for the last 8 years and most recently has served in the role of interim Chief Program Officer. Sara’s passion for addressing domestic violence, her demonstrated strength in enhancing operational efficiencies and leading high impact programs will be of tremendous value in her new role! Sara is a member of the HOME Cohort, our statewide work on the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness and leads Human Options Criminal Justice Response partnership with the Santa Ana Police Department. Additionally, Sara is the Chair of…

Press Release: Orange County Domestic Violence Death Review Team Releases Decade-Long Study Highlighting Fatality Trends & Recommendations for Prevention & Intervention 

IRVINE, Calif., February 16, 2022 — The Orange County Domestic Violence Death Review Team (DVDRT), a multidisciplinary task force, released its first ever study that analyzed a decade of trends in domestic violence fatalities. The team reviewed county coroner case files from 2006 through 2017 and analyzed domestic violence-related homicide and homicide/suicide cases to develop recommendations for community prevention and intervention initiatives in reducing and eradicating domestic violence. The DVDRT is co-chaired by Maricela Rio-Faust, Chief Executive Officer of nonprofit Human Options, and Professor Jane Stoever, who directs the University of California, Irvine School of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic and the UCI Initiative to End Family Violence and includes multiple…

Human Options Fall Luncheon Event Raises Nearly $200,000

IRVINE, Calif., (October 14, 2021) – Human Options hosted its annual Fall Luncheon on October 14 at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum, and via live-stream, to help educate and raise awareness about relationship violence. The event, held during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, raised nearly $200,000 to support Human Options’ relationship violence programs, including a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling program, legal advocacy and community education. The event featured a conversation with journalist, author, and domestic violence advocate Rachel Louise Snyder, highlighting the theme of her book, No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us. Named a top 10 best book of 2019 by…

Helping Victims of Relationship Violence Navigate the Legal System

Our legal system is complex, and without adequate resources and services, navigating the legal system is even harder. Our Legal Advocacy Program has seen a heightened increase in need for services and have been able to help families through the support of pro-bono attorneys, like O’Melveny & Meyers LLP. Our partnership has been critical in helping victims and survivors navigate the legal system.  To read more click the digital issue here on pages 46 and 47.

CA Health Report: The Pandemic Spurred a Domestic Violence Epidemic. It’s Not Over Yet.

Since the stay-at-home orders went into effect last year, we have seen a 50% rise in hotline calls and request for help. “It’s not necessarily that being home made the (abuser) violent. But the escalation occurs because there’s no reprieve from tension.” – Maricela Rios-Faust, CEO, shared in the latest CA Health Report. To read about the effects of the pandemic on victims and survivors of relationship violence, check out the latest article from the CA Health Report featuring Human Options: https://www.calhealthreport.org/2021/07/29/the-pandemic-spurred-a-domestic-violence-epidemic-its-not-over-yet/

“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…

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….

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…

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…

“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…