SafeHouse Center's Mission and Core Values

SafeHouse Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Ann Arbor, Michigan All volunteer opportunities will be in person located in Washtenaw County, MI.  All interested volunteers must be able to commute to the agency, remote opportunities are not available. 

Our MISSION is to provide safety, support, advocacy, and resources for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and their children, and to work relentlessly to change the systems and attitudes that allow this abuse to continue. 

Please NOTE that placement in the volunteer program is contingent upon many factors, including the application, interview process, successful completion of training, adherence to all policies and procedures outlined in the position description, training, and our volunteer handbook. Both placement and continued engagement of any volunteer is at the discretion of SafeHouse. 

Please review SafeHouse Center's Core Values, we ask all volunteers to be aligned with regard to our core values, working toward ending all forms of oppression and causes of domestic violence and sexual assault.  

  • SafeHouse Center is the center for providing leadership, support and advocacy for this work in Washtenaw County.
  • We know that we cannot do this alone. We will provide the leadership to build effective community partnerships and drive the systems changes required to end assaults on women.
  • We are committed to the empowerment of all women and believe that all people should be valued without bias and should be treated with dignity and respect. This feminist philosophy guides our actions and service delivery. We believe in liberty and justice for all – no exceptions.
  • Sexual assault and domestic violence are never the fault of the survivor.
  • We will promote safety, justice and autonomy for survivors and their children.
  • We will provide an environment of support and hope for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
  • We believe that the prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence must continue to move from the private sphere into the arena of public policy and community responsibility.
  • We believe that every person is affected by oppression and that it is impossible to end violence against women and children without working toward the end of all forms of oppression.
  • We will not remain silent in the face of discrimination and oppression because complacency and silence perpetuate inequality and violence.
  • We are committed to operate with integrity and high ethical standards in all that we do.

(https://www.safehousecenter.org/mission/safehouse-center-mission/

Volunteer Requirements, Confidentiality Guidelines, and Security Guidelines
Requirements for all volunteers:

  • You are not now, nor have you ever been, a batterer, perpetrator of sexual assault, or a child abuser.
  • You have a commitment to working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • You agree to abide by the SafeHouse Center confidentiality policy, which states that all information about survivors and their children is strictly confidential. You may not confirm or deny that someone is receiving services from SafeHouse.
  • You will follow all rules and regulations regarding security and safety at SafeHouse.
  • You will agree to a criminal back ground through the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, the National Sex Offender Registry, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). A social security number and photo ID is required in order to run the DHHS central registry clearance. 
  • You will agree to complete the required training.
  • You will commit to volunteer for six (6) months.
  • You will commit to a regular number of hours per week, which will be determined collaboratively with your coordinator.

Confidentiality Guidelines: In order to provide for the safety of the survivors and families that we work with, we maintain a very strict confidentiality policy. It is necessary that you agree to the following confidentiality guidelines:

  • I will not confirm or deny that anyone is a Service Participant with SafeHouse Center. This includes children and anyone I see in or around SafeHouse Center facilities. If I am asked directly about someone’s presence at SafeHouse Center, I will state that I have no information.
  • I will not take pictures of Service Participants or children without appropriate permission. If I am given permission, I must use SafeHouse Center equipment for all photo related activities.
  • I will not give a Service Participant my personal contact details and I will re-direct Service Participants to the appropriate advocate when they request something outside of my role.
    In the unlikely event that I encounter a reason to breach someone’s confidentiality (commission of a crime, child/vulnerable adult abuse and/or neglect, threats to self or others), I will immediately inform a SafeHouse Center supervisor.
  • I will immediately disclose any and all violations of confidentiality. My supervisor understands that mistakes are made from time to time and I will share with my supervisor any concerns relating to confidentiality.
  • I understand that should I violate someone’s confidentiality, it may lead to termination.

Security Guidelines: SafeHouse Center’s security system is only as effective as the people using it. Therefore we ask that you agree to the following security guidelines:

  • I will not prop open locked doors especially those leading into the Shelter from the outside or from the public side of the building. If I encounter a propped door, I will question why it is propped, and if I see an unattended propped door, I will close it.
  • I will not let anyone in to the Shelter. If I work in Shelter, I will only allow SafeHouse Center staff, volunteers and current residents in to the shelter.
  • I will direct donors to deliver donations to the public lobby rather than the Shelter door.
  • I will ask my ride to wait in their vehicle in a parking spot when picking me up. I will identify the vehicle to SafeHouse Center staff.
  • When entering and exiting the public lobby after business hours, I will double check that the front doors have closed and are locked.
  • I will notify a SafeHouse Center staff person immediately if I encounter any breach of security and/or any suspicious people on the premises.
  • If I am issued a key pass, I will not share it. Nor will I add any identifying information to my key pass or its holder. If I lose or misplace my key pass, I will immediately inform my supervisor.

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