Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Day In the Life: Women's Advocate

Our guest blogger today is Lori, a Hope House Women's Advocate.

As a Women’s Advocate here at Hope House, I have many different roles.  No day—or hour for that matter—is ever the same. 

Today when I came into work, I spent the first few hours providing general support to the women and children who reside in shelter: 
  • helped a client her medications
  • helped a client take her child’s temperature
  • put new sheets on the beds for an incoming family
  • assisted a group of clients in working out a laundry schedule

Advocate answers the hotline.
Photo by nota @
In the midst of all of that, I answered the 24-hour hotline, which is where most women first access Hope House services.  The woman on the hotline told me that her husband is verbally and physically abusive towards her. Her husband has been drinking tonight and she knows that she and her children are not safe staying at home. We make arrangements to bring them in to shelter.

When this woman and her children arrived in shelter, I made sure they had something to eat, and that they had no immediate medical needs. Then, I completed an intake process with her where I gathered general information about her situation and needs.

Tomorrow, I will meet with her again to provide her with information about power and control, red flags, the cycle of domestic violence, and safety planning.

I spend the next couple of hours of my shift meeting individually with the women who are assigned to my caseload.  During these individual meetings, I assist the women in recognizing their personal strengths and in setting goals. I provide a variety of resources and information to empower the women to make progress towards their personal goals.

No two days are ever the same in shelter, so I have learned to be very flexible. Although working as a Women’s Advocate can at times be a busy job, being able to provide support and assistance to the women in shelter is my passion. It’s most definitely a rewarding job!

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