Becoming an Advocate
Volunteers are a vital component of the day to day success of North County Women’s Shelter & Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Program (SARP/NCWS). Volunteers connect victims & survivors to the resources, care, and assistance they need to heal the deep wounds wrought by intimate partner violence/domestic violence and/or sexual assault/abuse. We provide opportunities that fit every volunteer’s schedule and realm of interest. State mandated 60 hour domestic violence & sexual assault crisis counselor training is required and provided to all volunteers.
After Hours Support
Volunteers offer 24 hour support & advocacy to local victims of domestic violence (DV) and/or sexual assault (SA). Volunteers in this category provide informed assistance to victims who need immediate advocacy and support. At times, these volunteers help after-hours by bringing families into shelter, attending law enforcement interviews to support survivors, being present at medical exams, and other situations in which advocacy is needed.
Accompaniment & Advocacy
Many intimate partner violence & sexual assault survivors must attend a multitude of meetings with medical personnel, law enforcement, and court hearings related to the assaults or for temporary restraining orders. Even accessing services such as Social Services can be stressful, confusing, threatening, and lonely to a survivor. Volunteers provide accompaniment & advocacy to survivors in many different venues to ensure that they feel supported and heard throughout the process.
Peer Crisis Support/Direct Client Services
Volunteers work directly with victims & survivors offering a compassionate and educated ear. Support often includes peer crisis support appointments and work in the shelters. Volunteers are needed to assist with shelter activities like loading furniture & belongings, cleaning or “turning over” rooms to prepare for the next client, helping clean the houses, light gardening, childcare…any number of activities that support our clients. We encourage our volunteers to bring their skills and ideas for ways to make our agency more effective. General emotional support and peer counseling are an important aspect of working directly with clients.
Volunteers who provide clerical support work exclusively in the office to aid in daily office operations and with special event preparation. Volunteers assist with copying, filing, bulk mailings, phones, and general office organization. Clerical volunteers may also choose to use their talents and skills to aid in organizing the front office or aiding in graphic design, using their writing skills to assist with outreach projects, or marketing skills to help produce newsletters.
A known presence in the community is the best way to ensure all victims, survivors, and their families know about North County Women’s Shelter & Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Center’s services. Volunteers distribute agency brochures and media promoting our services to relevant San Luis Obispo County businesses, agencies, municipalities, and other establishments frequented by the general public. Brochure distribution occurs on an on-going, routine basis.
Volunteers who provide fundraising assistance may help with planning events or help with set-up and break-down of event spaces. They may also promote events, decorate venues, sell tickets, and support staff and planners with any other event specific tasks as needed.