26 Jul Making Every Call Count
Not long ago, Emily contacted the WTLC Helpline in a state of crisis after realizing that she had reached the point in her marriage where it was time to leave. Her oldest child had started mimicking Emily’s spouse’s behavior, using the same abusive and insulting language when talking to her. A friend recommended WTLC as a good starting place to address her current predicament, and Emily picked up the phone and made the call.
The first priority of any call to our Helpline is to make sure the survivor is heard, not rushed, and that all concerns are acknowledged. This allows the survivor to select what they want their healing process to look like rather than being told. During that initial call, Emily had her feelings validated and was reassured that it took a lot of bravery for her to take this first step. The different programs WTLC offers were explained, as well as what it would look like should she decide to come into our shelter. During this first call to our Helpline, Emily decided not to move forward with emergency shelter. She wasn’t ready yet. Her Advocate gave her a few resources, discussed her safety plan, and let her know that she was welcome to call back at any time if she needed anything else.
Calls like these are taken everyday from people from all backgrounds for different needs such as emergency shelter, legal or clinical advocacy, or educational programs. Our Helpline is often the first contact a survivor has with WTLC, and so it is designed to remove as many barriers as possible to make our services accessible to every survivor. It operates 24/7 with access to translation services for non-English speakers, trauma experienced advocates for anyone going through domestic violence and human trafficking. Advocates make sure to not inundate with questions. They provide as much information as the survivor is comfortable with or is needed.
Should an individual decide to come into our Emergency Shelter, an advocate will provide a safe location where a Bridge Housing team member can meet them and help transport them to our safe and confidential shelter location. It takes a combination of teamwork from Helpline, Bridge Housing, and Center advocates to schedule an intake for each individual survivor, collectively working together to address all needs and provide adequate support.
Circling back to our earlier caller, Emily. After taking some time to process her options, she did call back to let the Helpline advocate know that she was ready to come into shelter. Emily did not have reliable transportation of her own, and so the WTLC team worked with her to determine a safe way to help get her to our shelter. By the end of the day, Emily and her children had arrived at WTLC.
When survivors graduate from any of our programs, Helpline Advocates can continue to provide support through our After Care program. Together they identify long-term goals, which are broken up into small achievable steps that they can work on for 12 months. Our Advocates provide monthly check-ins, providing emotional support and encouragement. We also work to ensure survivors have a support system after graduating from the shelter by encouraging them to remain connected to WTLC services.
Anyone looking for help wherever you are in your journey is welcome to contact WTLC’s Helpline. Our Advocates are here to listen.
Contact Helpline at 877-531-5522 or by emailing or texting firstname.lastname@example.org.