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SafeHouse Center
24/7 HelpLine: 734-995-5444
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Linea de Apoyo de 24 horas: 734-995-5444
Si esta en grave peligro, llame a 911.

Volunteer Spotlight

SafeHouse Center Volunteers share their thoughts about what they do at SafeHouse Center—and why it’s important:

 

August 2019 – Brynn, Response Team Volunteer

“I enjoy working directly with survivors and letting them know that someone is there for them. I’ve found that even if I can’t help them with everything they want/need, just being a resource and showing that someone cares really makes a difference. 

My advice is to take the time to take care of yourself before, during, and after a shift. As an RT volunteer especially, these shifts can be draining. You give a lot of yourself to these individuals, which is great, and they need you and appreciate that. But you have to remember that you can only give so much. Take some time for self-care and do something simply because it makes you happy, it’s fun, etc. You’ll appreciate it later on, and you’ll be a better volunteer for it.”


July 2019 – Lindsay, Response Team and Support Group Volunteer

“I am a researcher who studies sexual and intimate partner violence, and, while rewarding, sometimes the lived stories of survivors get lost in the data. Through my time volunteering with SafeHouse, I have enjoyed getting to interact directly with survivors, especially the opportunities to hear their stories and see their resilience. Although I feel like my research makes an impact, I love getting to see the direct benefit of this work when interacting one-on-one or in support groups with survivors

In every interaction that you have with a survivor, you have the opportunity to send the message that they are a valuable, worthy person who has the right to respect and love. Although you may only interact with someone for a few minutes or a few hours, you are planting the seeds of healing. The work you do matters! Soak up the knowledge and strength of survivors. Carrying their lessons and tenacity, you will be armed and empowered to confront the norms and beliefs that perpetuate violence.”


June 2019 – Response Team Volunteer

“One of my favorite memories was when I was able to interview Christine Watson, Response Team & Legal Advocacy Coordinator, on my social justice podcast. You can listen to the episode here. Another favorite is when I have seen survivors with loved ones which always warms my heart to know that they are not alone. That they have someone else in their lives — besides me on behalf of SafeHouse Center — who believes them.

My advice: go into each shift with a humble heart. Cultural humility is imperative. Learn about folks who are different than you. Yes, it’s important to see similarities and it’s also important to see differences. Survivors are the experts on their own lives, we are simply called in to bear witness to their lives at the moment(s) they let us in. We get to be of service in their darkest hour allowing them to feel seen and heard. This is a gift, a privilege and an honor that we cannot afford to take for granted.”


May 2019 – Meaghan, Support Group Volunteer

“Always keep an open mind to learning new things and never assume that you know the best way to support an individual – it is always different for each person. My favorite memory volunteering thus far is definitely the outpouring of support during my final exams from the women in group – I would not have left that week with my sanity if it weren’t for them. 

Volunteering with SafeHouse has been the most rewarding experience I have had while living in Ann Arbor. I will cherish the bonds I have created with the women and co-facilitators for the rest of my life.”


April 2019 – Kathy, Support Group Volunteer

“My advice to future volunteers is to show up as often as possible, authentically there, heart and soul, to do your best. If you are sincere, you will be a nurturing advocate. Do not worry about knowing everything as you will learn the system over time.

SafeHouse has been and continues to be a fulfilling heart-warming experience for me. The more I contribute, the more fulfilled I feel! The organization is a blessing to the community.”


March 2019 – Response Team Volunteer

“One of my favorite memories involved teaching trauma-sensitive yoga in the shelter. The intention of trauma-sensitive yoga is to help survivors have a heightened sense of body awareness, choice and empowerment. I can remember one woman sharing how disconnected and anxious she felt prior to class. Afterwards she shared she felt more grounded and capable of facing the next day and owning her healing journey moving forward.

It’s these individual stores where survivors recognize they are enough, they deserve to heal and how resilient they are, that keep inspiring me to do this work. I’ve felt and seen the profound impact sexual assault and domestic violence can have on the mind, body and spirit. I’ve seen the scars but I’ve also seen the resiliency of the human heart and the positive impact we can have on survivors’ lives. My heart is so full. I am both humbled and inspired by the staff, volunteers and survivors I’ve met volunteering with SafeHouse Center.”


February 2019 – John, Children and Youth Volunteer

“I’ve had the good fortune to spend the last 10 years volunteering with the Children and Youth program. It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I thought I’d teach the kids a thing or two but I had no idea how much they’d have to teach me.”

 

 


January 2019 – Seth, Teen Voice Volunteer

Volunteering at SafeHouse in the TeenVoice program has been so inspiring and rewarding for me. SafeHouse is full of driven, kind people, who wish to help others, and my worldview has certainly changed here. I can only hope that our presentations have made an impact on my peers, and through our work hopefully we will find social change.”

 


December 2018 – Kathleen, Receptionist Volunteer

One of my favorite memories, here at SafeHouse, was when a woman was waiting for her child to arrive on the school bus and she was chatting about the impact the shelter and ongoing support has had on her life. This showed me how much SHC really does impact a person’s life and how much the work done here matters. Lives are saved by coming here, and this conversation really shed light to this.