A typical day for A Woman’s Place (AWP) First Response starts with staff discussing what they have going on that day. What courts they will be going to if the case is not continued last minute, what clients they will be meeting with to help prep for a hearing or filing a claim, if they do not cancel, and many do as it is part of the cycle. Everyone has their day planned out accordingly and it appears as though it is going to be a full yet uneventful day. Line 1 rings, a local hospital requests an advocate come in person to speak with someone who has been brought in as a result of domestic violence. Although some things have to be moved around we are able to accommodate and send an advocate out covering this request. Five minutes later we receive a hotline call with a request from local police to come and meet with someone who has walked into the police department and would like to speak with an advocate while filing a report for abuse. With only 2 full time staff and 1 part time advocate this now creates a scheduling conflict for the day that started out as being “manageable”. Time to call Alice, and ask the question she has come to know all to well-“What’cha Doin”?
Alice Haines is one of our First Response advocates, and has been volunteering with AWP for over 12 years. She dedicates her time to being on call, as well as helping with court accompaniments and crisis call outs. Alice is always ready to respond to wherever she is needed. For many this type of last minute request would be an inconvenience and probably turned down, but these types of immediate unplanned crisis situations require advocates to be available at any time, whether it is 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. Alice offers her time at a moments notice with the knowledge, compassion and patience that is needed when dealing with a someone in a crisis situation. She volunteers a minimum of 113 hours per month to being on call, and typically spends a minimum of 6 hours in court a month.
The First Response program recognizes and appreciates every volunteer who dedicates their time to assisting our clients on a daily basis whether it be via phone or in person. We are grateful for Alice, who despite seeing that restricted number pop up, willingly picks up her phone fully knowing that I will undoubtedly be on the other end asking, “What’cha doin?” in the hopes she can respond to a call out that would otherwise have to wait until someone else was available.
THANK YOU ALICE…
AND HAPPY VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION MONTH TO ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS!
First Response Manager