Why do you work for TVH?
Many of us believe in the greater good. Wouldn't we all be happier if we were able to change the life of just one person for the better? Well, working in Tri-Valley Haven gives me an opportunity to change many lives. It gives me immense pleasure when I see a client graduate from our program successfully. I measure my success with their success.
What does TVH’s mission mean to you?
We all want our homes to be our safe space - our sanctuary, where we can unwind, relax and dream. But many adults & children don't feel safe in their homes because there is a predator in their house. TVH's aim is to create homes that are safe from abuse. If we succeed in this, we will make this world a better place.
How are you providing services during COVID?
We have continued serving our clients through counseling, legal aid, case management, food pantry, homelessness etc., even during shelter in place. There are some modifications just so we don't breach any COVID-19 protocol. For example, we provide therapy, legal aide and case managing via phone or video chats to our community clients instead of meeting them in person.
Similarly, crisis line staff has been working non-stop even during the pandemic - without any break. We virtually screen clients fleeing a domestic violence situation and as they meet our criteria, we bring them in the shelter as we did before the pandemic started. Since the pandemic started, we lodge our clients in a motel for up to 14 days so they can quarantine before coming in the shelter.
Can you tell us about a client’s story that has stuck with you?
There are two stories that I can think of that really touched my heart.
First was a senior citizen who also suffered from delayed development. She had been in a toxic, abusive relationship all her adult life. At age 60, she was able to set herself free. She came to our shelter, we provided counseling, and helped her get a restraining order against the spouse who abused her physically, emotionally, financially, socially & psychologically. Eventually she moved to a different location away from the abuser. You could see, a heavy weight lifted off her shoulders. She got her confidence, freedom and smile back.
Second story is about a young lady in her 20s who was new to the United States with a 4-year-old kid. She was not fluent in English and her husband took advantage of that. He was physically abusive, limited her access to the outside world and didn’t allow her to work. She was not allowed to even speak to her family overseas and had no access to money. Once she came to us, she did everything she could to get back on her feet. We helped get her a restraining order against her husband. She was good at baking and got a job at a bakery shop and eventually secured a home for herself.
I am in awe of these women and have the utmost respect for them. This is not an easy journey. One needs a lot of courage and strength to leave and start their life from scratch.
Please describe what you do for TVH and your background in the position
I am a crisis line coordinator and make sure our crisis line is up and working 24/7. Crisis line is one of the essential tools of Tri-Valley Haven as it is through the line that staff talks directly to the client or anyone calling on behalf of the client. Depending on the caller's need we provide information or direct them to the department that can best support them. My role also includes training new employees and volunteers who are interested in working for our organization.
I started as a volunteer in Tri-Valley Haven, loved working here and finally became their employee. I worked as a Legal advocate before moving to the Crisis Line Coordinator position.