News & Blog - Page 3 of 9 - Human Options

The Need For Safety: Julie’s Story

Will you answer their call for safety? Julie’s husband was a violent man with stalking tendencies. After Julie and her children entered our shelter, we determined it would only be safe for her to use her personal cell phone at least 10 miles from the shelter and only for a limited amount of time in one sitting. Julie had been working tirelessly to secure placement for her family in a transitional living program. She decided to take her children to a park 15 miles away from the shelter as a safety precaution in order to use her phone to check for messages. Ten minutes after she turned on her phone,…

The Need For Safety: Maria’s Story

Will you answer their call for safety? Maria and her daughter were safety transferred into our emergency shelter after Maria’s abuser showed up at their previous shelter. After staff denied him entry and called the police, Maria’s abuser broke her car windows and stole confidential paperwork regarding custody of their daughter. He also stole Maria’s medication that she was prescribed for an injury sustained as a result of the abuse. When Maria logged into her email account from a secure shelter computer to access some important evidence for the domestic violence case against her partner, a notice appeared stating that she was already logged on. Not thinking much of it,…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Cornerstone Church

Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult, especially when you are concerned about housing. At Human Options, our Second Step transitional housing program offers survivors of relationship violence a safe place where they can regain their independence as they continue on their journey of healing. “We’re called to take care of each other,” says April Hufford, Cornerstone Ministry Leader. “We do our best to prepare a comfortable home for each family. For the past three years, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship has designed apartment spaces prior to a family moving into Second Step by blending new with the old by repurposing donated furniture, artwork, and home essentials.  “They deserve good things–to feel…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Interns

Human Options is proud to offer valuable clinical counseling and program internship experiences to bachelor and graduate level students. Our interns play an integral role in Human Options’ mission to end the cycle of relationship violence. Master in Social Work (MSW) interns provide an array of community and residential services including support groups, individual counseling, psychoeducation groups, family counseling, children’s counseling, senior adult counseling, outreach, and prevention.  “Through their work, our MSW interns bring healing and safety to those seeking services, and their hard work helps Human Options expand our services so we are able to have a greater impact,” says Rose Robles, Therapeutic Program Supervisor.  In our children’s program,…

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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…