Human Options Volunteer Spotlight: Hotline Advocate

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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 taking calls and screening new callers into the shelter program. The hotline receives a wide variety of calls including calls from law enforcement, other service providers, social services, individuals fleeing domestic violence and seeking shelter, and individuals seeking non-residential services. All hotline volunteers have completed the state-mandated 40-hour domestic violence advocate training and committed to serving a minimum of one 3-hour hotline shift during the week.

“Michele is such a loving and supportive presence at the shelter and jumps in whenever and wherever she is needed, including in our Children’s Program,” says Ashley Zanone, Hotline Supervisor. “She even takes care of our staff by bringing coffee and banana nut bread whenever she comes!”

In addition to her volunteer duties, Michele and her husband generously replaced the flooring in one of the shelter bedrooms after Michele saw the need.  

“We are grateful each and every day to all out hotline volunteers for the consistent and much needed support they provide our clients and staff,” added Ashley. “Thank you, hotline volunteers!”