News & Blog - Human Options

Meet Our 2 New Board of Directors!

We are pleased to introduce two new members who have joined our Human Options Board of Directors: Sabrina C. Callin and Dr. Eschilian-Oates!     Sabrina C. Callin, CFA, CPA retired, of Newport Beach retired from PIMCO (Pacific Investment Management Company) in mid-2016 after spending 18 years with the company, including over seven years as a managing director. At the time she was elected, she was the fourth woman to make managing director at PIMCO since the firm’s founding in 1971. During her career at PIMCO, among other responsibilities, Callin was the senior product manager responsible for the development, positioning and external communication for a range of fixed income, equity and…

Meet Our New Board President: Celina J. Doka

We are honored to introduce our new 2021 Human Options Board President, Celina J. Doka! Celina is an Audit partner in KPMG’s Asset Management Practice. She is also the global lead partner for all services provided to PIMCO. In addition, Celina leads KPMG’s Investment Management and Real Estate Audit practices in the Orange County office. Professional and industry experience With over 38 years of experience, Celina has extensive experience with public and private offerings of equity and debt securities including initial public offerings. She also has significant experience in providing audit and accounting services for a wide variety of publicly held and privately held investment management and real estate industry…

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…

We are honored to welcome our new Board Member – Amy Hytowitz

We are honored to welcome Amy Hytowitz  as a new addition to our Board of Directors! Amy Hytowitz is currently a Senior Director of Global Communications for Edwards Lifesciences. In this capacity she is focused on strategic communications activities across the company and will lend her expertise and experience to help further our mission. Learn more about our new Board Member, Amy Hytowitz below.  HUMAN OPTIONS APPOINTS AMY HYTOWITZ TO ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS Human Options, an Orange County-based nonprofit dedicated to ending the cycle of relationship violence, recently announced a new addition to its Board of Directors, Amy Hytowitz, senior director of global communications for Edwards Lifesciences. Hytowitz brings…

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…

Staff Spotlight: Meet Erwin Cox

Join us in welcoming one of our newest staff members, Erwin Cox. We are excited to have Erwin join us as the new Program Supervisor for the Minnie Street Family Resource Center.  Erwin Cox was born and raised in Guatemala and moved to California in 2009. He has worked in the social services/mental health field for 20 years. Erwin has worked with children, youth and adults in various capacities such as arts and culture, health education and prevention, case management and program supervision. Erwin has worked in the FaCT Family Resource Center network for over two years. Erwin earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He speaks four languages. Erwin is an…

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,…