What is the target population of Laura's House?
Those individuals and families suffering from the effects of domestic/intimate partner violence. This includes verbal abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. The target population of the shelter program is low-income victims of domestic violence - mostly women (and their children) who are homeless (or at risk of becoming homeless), require immediate shelter, and are in need of healthcare and other support services to help them become healthy, self-sufficient and free of violence.
What services does Laura's House offer to those affected by domestic/intimate partner violence?
Please refer to the “Programs and Services” tab on the homepage of the Laura’s House website for a list of all services throughout the various programs.
What are the demographics of Laura's House clients? How many individuals are served annually?
We serve about 4,000 annually through our direct service programs and an additional 13,000 through our community education and outreach programs.
- Income Status: Over 79% of clients identify themselves as “female head of household”, with 95% of clients falling into the low/mod income range.
- Gender: 92% of the program’s clients are female and 8% are male.
- Ethnicity: 37% White/Caucasian, 39% Latino/Hispanic 10% Black/African American, 5% Asian, and 8% Multi-Ethnic/Other Race
Where is Laura's House?
- Our Administrative Offices and Counseling and Resource Center (CRC) are located in Ladera Ranch, CA
- Our Domestic Violence Advocacy Center (DVAC) is located in Garden Grove, CA.
- Our Emergency Shelter and Step Ahead Transitional Housing are in confidential locations.
- We also have two Resale Stores (Laura's House Resale Stores support the Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, and Counseling and Resource Programs of Laura's House through the resale of high-quality donated merchandise) located in San Juan Capistrano and Lake Forest, CA.
How many employees does Laura's House have?
We have 86 employees (combination of full and part time).
How many volunteers does Laura's House have?
In 2017 we had a total of 475 volunteers providing 14,823 hours (equivalent to $357,827.22 in the following departments and areas: Special Events, Resale Stores, Administration, 24-Hour Hotline, Case Management, Emergency Shelter Coordination, Childcare, Board of Directors, Clinical Internships, Pro Bono Attorneys, Legal Advocacy, and Women’s Guild.
What is the annual budget of Laura's House?
2018 budget: $4,000,000
How does Laura's House receive funding?
- Businesses / Corporations
- City, County, State and Federal Grants
- Legacy gifts / Wills
- Special Events
- 3rd Party Fundraising
- Laura’s House Resale Stores
- Batterer’s fines and program fees
Do the clients/residents of Laura's House have to pay fees?
The residents of the Emergency Shelter do not pay for shelter and accompanying services. Transitional Housing is designed to establish more independence and there are some fees for living costs. Clients that receive outpatient services through the Counseling and Resource Center pay for low-cost services on a sliding scale. We do not turn anyone away because of an inability to pay.
How does Laura's House determine the effectiveness of services offered?
Laura’s House administers a pre and post test for all services offered, including teen prevention outreach. Questionnaires are also periodically distributed to evaluate the quality of shelter experiences and clients’ overall improvement on current safety and access to resources. Results are calculated and reported.
What are the outcomes of evaluated services?
Counseling and Resource Center
- 90% of battered women increase their knowledge of domestic violence as a result of their participation in psycho-education groups.
- 69% of women and children who entered the shelter program, at time of exit secured safe housing and moved out of abuse, with 83% rating their experience with the shelter program as: Excellent or Very Good.
- 62% of battered women increase their knowledge of domestic violence as a result of their participation in psycho-education groups.
- 85% of battered women improve their self-esteem and cognitive coping skills as a result of their participation in individual and family therapy.
- 72% of battered women increase their knowledge of codependency and anger management skills through their participation in psycho-educational groups.
- 68% of battered women increase their capacity to leverage skills and community resources to achieve self-sufficiency as a result of their participation in case management services.
- 78% of child residents exhibited improvement in post-traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety and depression as a result of their participation in family and individual counseling.
- 65% of child residents demonstrate improved social functioning through their participation in psycho-educational groups. Areas of improved social functioning may include the following:
- Expression of spontaneous affection.
- The ability to identify their own and others' feelings.
- The capacity to demonstrate a range of emotions, e.g. joy, anger, fear, curiosity.
- A reduction in aggressive behaviors.
How does an individual in need of services begin?
An individual who has been victimized by intimate partner abuse can call our 24-Hour Hotline (866-498-1511) for immediate assistance, especially if that individual is looking for emergency shelter or has more pressing concerns about safety.
Another option, for those seeking outpatient counseling, classes/support groups, or legal assistance, would be to contact our Counseling and Resource Center (949-361-3775 or 949-240-0363) to initiate registration followed by an intake to assess for appropriateness of services. The potential client must contact us directly; we cannot register a client through a third party unless the client is a minor.
What are the qualifications (education, experience, etc.) one would need in order to work for Laura's House?
Job qualifications depend upon the position. Our employment opportunities are posted on our website which lists the qualifications for each open position. Clinical positions (including volunteer practicum and internships) require the completion of, or enrollment in, a qualifying graduate program in clinical psychology, counseling, or marriage and family therapy.
What are the goals and overall philosophy of Laura's House?
Our ultimate goal is to reduce the incidence, recidivism and intergenerational cycle of domestic violence through education, counseling, support, case management and life skills training for victims of all ages. Laura’s House provides a safe space in which to heal the effects of domestic violence by providing diagnosis, evaluation and treatment. We provide supportive services and programs that will prepare our clients and their children to live independent and violence free lives.
We are committed to engaging our community in the work that we do through education, community partnerships and support. Laura’s House actively participates in local networks to advocate for a timely, comprehensive response to survivors’ multi-faceted needs. Prevention is the H.E.A.R.T. of the work we do at Laura’s House. Healthy Emotions and Attitudes in Relationships Today, educates young people about healthy relationships and appropriate conflict resolution skills in order to prevent violence before it starts.
Heart Chat is an online hotline that provides information, resources and referrals to youth age 12-17 with the goal of encouraging healthy dating relationships and providing support to those in abusive relationships. Heart Chat connects teens to a domestic violence advocate who can answer questions, offer relationship education, suggest safety planning tips and connect teens to a professional therapist. Our programs and services also have an emphasis on children who have witnessed domestic violence.
At Laura’s House, we embrace the philosophy of personal empowerment in all that we do. Our approach to empowerment is based on offering victims the tools they need to make choices that foster healthy, violence-free relationships. Each intervention builds on survivors’ competencies through education, legal advocacy and support according to each person’s circumstances.
How does staff (especially with direct client contact) practice self-care?
Self-care is crucial when working with victims of trauma. Laura’s House offers opportunities to practice self-care at work through periodic healing workshops (often led by professionals in the community volunteering their services). Staff is supervised to manage a balanced caseload and receive ample support on an individual and group basis. Additionally staff is encouraged to utilize resources outside of the organization (yoga, meditation, moderate exercise, social interaction or down-time, and personal therapy) to relax, refresh and process.
What are some challenges in working with this population?
As with any population that is in need of healing, there can be challenges in initiating the changes that lead to recovery. Some clients remain in unsafe situations, which can be worrisome and frustrating. Patience and acceptance is necessary to overcome this challenge. Additionally, since intimate partner violence is a systemic problem, there can be barriers economically, legally and socially that slow progress, healing and autonomy.