A 30 year old, single mother of three called from a hotel. She had lost her apartment in a domestic violence situation. She was calling from the bathroom of the hotel and shared she was simply sitting on the floor and absolutely overwhelmed. As she shared she needed to find food resources for her children, she started to sob. I shared I heard her pain and exhaustion. She stated I must think she was “terrible” having to call from a bathroom floor. I stated, it was the exact opposite. I heard courage in her asking for help and that she was trying to do the best she could for a family she loves.
I shared with her what local food resources were available along with additional domestic violence resources. I also shared that Contact Helpline offers a 24/7 listening line. She could call twice a day for 10 minutes each call and know a human being would be there to offer a safe, non-judgmental space and listen - listen, acknowledge what she shares, and reflect back the emotions we hear expressed.
Not only was the caller thankful for the needed food and housing services I shared but she appreciated the fact I heard her struggle as a mom who was doing the best she could in that moment. She stated she would be calling the 800 number and reaching out when she felt overwhelmed. During the phone call she excused herself to check on her children. They were reading books and watching TV. She came back on the phone and expressed how important it was to her to do whatever she had to make sure they stayed together and were OK. I said, “I think that is what we all hope for those we care about… that we can connect and that we are OK.”
It is a common core need… human to human support and encouragement. At Contact Helpline, we do what we can to connect community members to needed services with compassion and dignity and that extra element of listening with our whole hearts.