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Why Volunteering at Compass Center Might be Right for You

Why Volunteering at Compass Center Might be Right for You

We have approximately 200 volunteers a year . Most of our volunteers work directly with clients. For this reason, we  provide extensive training so that volunteers are adequately prepared to provide services to people in need.

Our volunteer trainings are only twice a year for specific positions, so if you’re interested, now is the time to start applying.  Compass Center’s Director of Client Services and Volunteer Management, Ashley Parks, answers some frequently asked questions about our volunteer program.

 

What do volunteers at Compass Center do?

We have a variety of different volunteer positions. Everything from working on the crisis line to career coaching and tabling at events. It depends on what volunteers are interested in doing and how much time they can devote volunteering. We have one volunteer who posts flyers for us once a month. That’s all she has time for, but it’s a huge help.

Here are some of the volunteer positions we are looking for:

  • Domestic Violence Hotline Advocates are needed to assist survivors of domestic and interpersonal violence by responding to calls on our 24-hour hotline. 
  • Information and Referral Volunteers are needed to welcome our clients, assess their needs and goals, and connect them to Compass Center services and community resources accordingly. 
  • Domestic Violence Court Advocates needed to provide emotional support, information about the court system, community referrals, and connect clients with other victim service providers. 
  • Career Program Volunteers needed to work one-on-one with clients with varying needs for career guidance and support, such as career/vocational exploration, resume writing, cover letters, job search strategies, interviewing, and goal-setting. Volunteers commit to six months with a minimum of four appointments per month.

Please visit https://compassctr.org/contributions/volunteer-opportunities/ to see all of our opportunities. There are many ways to get involved and most of the time we take any skills you have!

How can I become a volunteer?

Initially, people email me or fill out our application online and then I send them position descriptions and ensure that it’s a good fit for their availability. From there, I connect them to a staff member in charge of that role and that person will do an in-person conversation or screening. Then in the fall, we hold our volunteer training. There are two days of training, which is comprised of a general training for all volunteers and then a more specific training for a volunteer’s specific role.  

Who can be a volunteer?

Because of the time constraints and the sensitive or serious nature of some of the work, we generally ask that people are 18 years or older and that they’re ready to make  a long-term volunteering commitment.

Is it paid?

Volunteer roles are not paid. Every once in a while we have some internships that have a small stipend that goes with them, such as Court Advocacy and Community Response internship, but generally they are not paid positions.

Can someone get school credit?

We receive many students from APPLES Service-Learning, which is a student-led program at UNC Chapel Hill that connects academic learning with public service, and Masters of Social Work students who get school credit. Those are situations we’re used to dealing with, but it would just be a matter of having a conversation with that school about what their expectations are for us and the student.

Are there volunteer positions that aren’t client-facing?

Yes. We have volunteers who help with development, communications, community awareness, and finance. Some of these volunteers are students, and some are community members including professional graphic designers and photographers who donate their services.

What can someone expect from volunteering?

A volunteer can expect to get quality training and have attentive staff support throughout their time here. It’s a very rewarding experience for a lot of people and volunteers grow a lot and meet new people. As a staff, we are all really responsive, consistent and really value our volunteers!

Drag Queen Bingo Saturday at 8 p.m.

Drag Queen Bingo Saturday at 8 p.m.

Join us at 8 p.m. (note the time change from 8:30) on Saturday, July 21 for a night of bingo hosted by Drag Queen Vivica C. Coxx at Linda’s Bar and Grill! Linda’s is located at 203 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514.

Compass Center will receive funds from the purchase of bingo cards and Red Oak Pints ($5) and Compass Center Cosmos ($7). There will be prizes, including the grand prize: a $50 Linda’s gift card! All round winners will be eligible to win the grand prize.

The night consists of 10 rounds of bingo and a break at halftime for people to order drinks. Please bring cash for bingo cards and your generous donations to Compass Center! Bingo cards can be purchased in sets of 3 for $5, 10 for $15, and 15 for $20.

Arrive early as the show begins promptly at 8.

“A Model That Makes a Lasting Impact”

“A Model That Makes a Lasting Impact”

Why I Give

Board Chair Gillian Hare

I have always been the person that has wanted to give back to the community. My motto is ‘give back and step up.’ When I discovered Compass Center for Women and Families, I knew it would be the right fit.

What really lured me in to Compass Center was their empowerment model. I really liked that Compass Center was focused on long-term solutions by giving people the tools and services they need to help themselves. Through their three pillars of crisis care, self-sufficiency, and education, I believe we can empower individuals and stop the generational impact of domestic violence.

In my own life, my family has tackled the consequences of unhealthy relationships and I see how it affects a family for generations. The long-term effects of domestic violence make this issue so important to address when the person is in crisis rather than waiting for it to get worse. For example, if you see that a parent isn’t empowered, then that child might not be empowered, which can lead to mental health issues and lack of safety. On the other hand, a person who is empowered is able to restore their own dignity and face the challenges that will come in the future. They can empower their children and the people they surround themselves with.

I started by helping the development side of Compass Center by running fundraising events. I became more involved, ultimately joining the board and serving as the Committee chair for the Empowering Journeys Fundraiser. Now, I will be the chair of the board which will be a new adventure for me. I love the people I work with and volunteering with Compass Center has tremendously impacted my life. When you find the right fit as an organization, you are learning and growing just as much as the organization is. I think that’s the joy, that’s when it’s going to last.

Compass Center is more than just a place I donate to, I’m a part of a team of people committed to making a positive change.

Compass Center to Provide Housing and Mental Health Services to Survivors of Domestic Violence

Compass Center to Provide Housing and Mental Health Services to Survivors of Domestic Violence

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 17, 2018

Compass Center to Provide Housing and Mental Health Services to Survivors of Domestic Violence in Orange County  

Chapel Hill, NC– Compass Center for Women and Families will expand its services to include housing and mental health support thanks to a 2-year grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission and additional support from Cardinal Innovations Healthcare’s Community Reinvestment Initiative. The Chapel Hill-based nonprofit will provide vitally needed transitional housing assistance and therapeutic services to victims of domestic violence and their children in Orange County. 

Compass Center is the state-designated domestic violence service provider for Orange County.  In that role, Compass Center offers a 24-hour hotline, court advocacy services, support groups, emergency housing placement, and more to victims of domestic violence. The county does not have a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing for survivors of abuse.  As a result, victims get displaced to shelters in other counties, creating a significant negative impact on work, schooling, and support.  Thanks to the a $350,000 Governor’s Crime Commission grant, made possible in part by a cash match of $15,914 from the Cardinal Innovations grant, Compass Center will be able to directly pay for clients’ housing needs including rent and utility payments for up to 120 days, beginning early next year.

Affordable therapy is a gap for trauma survivors looking for symptom relief and healing.  With this grant, Compass Center’s hotline and in-person domestic violence advocates will assess clients’ needs for therapeutic services and connect them to contract therapists in the community.  Compass Center will provide at least 54 victims of domestic violence and/or their children with therapy services in the next two years.

“Housing and mental health services are critical to helping victims of domestic violence and their families live safe, stable, and healthy lives,” said Cordelia Heaney, Executive Director of Compass Center. “By adding these services we enhance our existing model of providing crisis care and long-term support to help survivors of domestic abuse move forward. These clients can take advantage of our financial counseling, career coaching, and family law information services as well, giving them the best chance a secure future.”

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Compass Center for Women and Families

Compass Center for Women and Families helps 6,000 people a year navigate their journeys to self-sufficiency, safety, and health. The nonprofit empowers individuals and promotes equal access to opportunity regardless of gender or economic status. Compass Center services include career and financial education, domestic violence crisis and prevention programs, assistance with legal resources, and youth health programs. For more information, visit www.compassctr.org.

 

Meet Our Newest Career Coach

Meet Our Newest Career Coach

Robin is lending her talents to our career coaching services this summer. As our in-house career coach, Robin is available to help clients with résumés, cover letters, transitioning to a new job, and more.

A career counseling graduate student at North Carolina Central University, Robin chose to intern at Compass Center because she is survivor of domestic violence.

“I was helped by a facility like this in Greensboro,” said Robin. “I always wanted to give back to this type of environment because it’s something that helped me and changed my life.”

Robin said that oftentimes people are stuck with their abusive partner because of the financial component.

“We’re here to give them an option so that once they want to make a change or they’re in a position to make a change, we can point them in the direction to be self-sufficient,” she said.

With Robin’s help, Compass Center can reach out to more walk-in clients and use her experience to lead people to financial independence.

Call 919-968-4610 to schedule your career coaching appointment today!

“Feeling Connected to the Community”

“Feeling Connected to the Community”

Why I Give

Ilouise Bradford, Compass Center Board Member

I first learned about Compass Center’s mission after attending a Tea with Lee event in December 2012. Because I had friends and family who had experienced and, luckily, survived domestic violence at the hands of intimate partners, I was initially inspired to donate to Compass Center because its staff provided much-needed domestic violence crisis services in my community.

Through my conversations with Cordelia Heaney, who became executive director in 2015, I learned much more about the depth and breadth of Compass Center’s services. For one, the staff understand that domestic abuse is not only physical but also emotional, verbal, and financial. That recognition is powerful, and Compass Center has developed a systematic approach that provides both crisis support and more practical financial and career services to whomever seeks them out.

As a board member, I have been privileged to be part of an amazing team that wants to empower clients to reroute their lives toward a better future. Although many national and international organizations are doing great work, to me, investing in Compass Center has meant getting to see its vital impact at the local level. I know its mission; I know the people working hard to make its vision a reality; and I trust their judgement regarding how to make the biggest difference in our community.

At a recent fundraiser at Local 506, a young man approached one of our board members to say that he wished that he and his mother had had access to services like those offered at Compass Center when he was growing up. If Compass Center had been around then, he thought that it would have given him and his mother hope and the tools needed to forge a new path. Stories like his strengthen my commitment to supporting Compass Center’s work in whatever way I can.

Saying Farewell to our JSC Intern

Saying Farewell to our JSC Intern

Compass Center is saying goodbye to our Information and Referrals intern, Emmanuel Gemora!

Emmanuel has been with Compass Center since last summer through the Johnson Service Corps, an organization in which young adults devote one year to community service in Chapel Hill and Durham. He chose Compass Center because he wanted to work directly with families.

“I am trained in education and I wanted to do something that I felt would help me in my future with a job as an educator,” he said.

Emmanuel has helped Compass Center by accommodating walk-in clients, scheduling appointments, speaking with clients on the phone, ordering resources, organizing the office, and more. He said that in addition to learning a lot about crisis and non-profit work, he also learned to be an active listener, juggle many tasks at once, delegate work, and value of practicing self-care.

“I think the whole staff is really good about making sure everyone is taking care of themselves,” he said. “All the training that we have in working with people who are in crisis or who have traumatic backgrounds, that ends up changing the way we work with our co-workers.  I feel like everybody at Compass is really encouraging,”

Gemora is moving to Oregon, where he hopes to become a special education elementary school teacher.

“I’m going to miss my co-workers, the volunteers, and the clients. I’m very attached to everybody,” he said.

While Compass Center is sad to say goodbye, we are excited for his new adventures that lie ahead!

Donate a vehicle!

Donate a vehicle!

Announcing an exciting new way to give to Compass Center!

You can now donate a vehicle to benefit Compass Center through the Vehicle Donation Program, CARS.  CARS collects most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RVs, motorcycles, off road vehicles, heavy equipment and other motorized vehicles can be donated. The vehicle does not need to be running, but do it does need to be in one piece. To begin the donation process,  visit: https://careasy.org/nonprofit/compass-center-for-women-and-families or call 855-500-RIDE (7433). You will be contacted within 24 hours. Once the donation record is completed, CARS will contact you within 2 to 3 business days to schedule your pickup.

 

We are excited to expand our donor opportunities!  

More Legal Help for Our Clients!

More Legal Help for Our Clients!

Compass Center has welcomed a new member to the team!

Rishi Singh, a UNC law student, is co-coordinating the Community Legal Project with our Self-Sufficiency Programs Director LaKiera Grimes. This project helps clients receive legal information on their questions related to family law. Singh listens to a client’s family situation and provides them with a legal memo pre-approved by an attorney on how to resolve their situation.

“Growing up, my mom and her sisters always had issues related to family law and it was something in her life that affected her deeply. She likes to talk about that with me and so that’s my motivation into getting into family law,” he said.

Singh hopes to give Compass Center a collection of memos that they can work off of in the future and expand the community legal project to cover more areas other than family law.

Singh’s services allows Compass Center to expand their offerings to more clients who need legal information.

“I feel like it’s an easy way to talk to someone who is in the legal field for free. While I can’t provide all the services that an attorney can, at least I can give a client some legal support and some legal information within a reasonable time frame,” he said.

 


Everything you need to know about our Career Services!

Everything you need to know about our Career Services!

Compass Center offers free individual career counseling in a non-judgmental atmosphere to all clients in any situation. We assist clients looking to find their passion, change careers, apply for a promotion, and more. To schedule an appointment at our Chapel Hill office, please call 919-968-4610. For more information visit our website at compassctr.org. Below is a Q&A about our career services, which is directed by our Self-Sufficiency Programs Director LaKiera Grimes. 

What can I expect from career counseling?

Career counseling is designed to empower you to navigate your own career path. You will work with a  counselor to develop an attainable plan to help you reach your goals. At our one-on-one appointments, you can get help writing your résumé, filling out job applications, refining your job search, and practicing interviewing skills.

What kind of experience do career counselors have?

The counselors are volunteers who may have worked or currently work in human resources, or they may have experience in career coaching. All counselors volunteer with Compass Center because they have a passion for helping people access their full potential. The counselors are determined to find a holistic and strategic approach to your employment concerns.

What if I don’t have a career or am changing careers?

            The career services apply to anyone who is in any stage in their career. If you don’t have a career, the counselor may do a skills assessment to evaluate what skills you have and how they can fit into the type of employment you’re looking for. If you’re changing your career, the counselor may help you discover how you can market yourself to a different field. The career services provide a safe place for anyone who needs to talk about their employment with someone who has their best interest in mind. Career services also extend to people who may want to keep their current position, but expand their role in it or make it more exciting.

How should I prepare for a session?

            Reflect on what your needs and goals are in regards to your career. When arriving at the appointment, it is not expected that you have all the answers. Compass Center encourages clients to attend multiple appointments to receive the most out of their services.

Are there any requirements to get free counseling?

            There are no requirements to receive free counseling. The career services are available to all people of all ages and genders. We ask that you come to the appointment willing to participate and provide feedback following the appointment. Ultimately Compass Center wants clients to have the tools they need to be successful!


Compass Center’s Self-Sufficiency Programs Director LaKiera Grimes is featured in the photo above. 

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