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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hospice Of San Luis Obispo County

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Hospices, Human Services, Mental Health

Mission: Hospice of slo provides volunteer support, education, and counseling to those living with life threatening or terminal illness, their families, and the bereaved. Our primary clientele are low to moderate income children, adults, families, and seniors.

Programs: In home care: trained volunteers provide in home emotional and practical assistance to a community memeber with a life threatening illness and their family.

counseling/support group: provide grief support to individuals and families of all ages for all death losses.

training/education: bi-annual training for volunteers on death and dying. Annual training on child and adult grief. Collaborating on community crisis response.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of San Luis Obispo county staff thoroughly trains its volunteers in the complexities and sensitivities surrounding end of life. The scope of the training is holistic, including education about the dying process, family dynamics, cultural practices/preferences, diet, socialization, spirituality, durable medical equipment, non-medical solutions to pain/anxiety management and more. The staff does a great job of pairing volunteers to clients, plus they are always available for support and education. Hospice of SLO coordinates with other professional organizations that might be a part of the client's team, such as medical hospice, in-home healthcare providers and agency caregivers (just to name a few). This coordination is an exceptionally powerful benefit to both the client and their family/friends , allowing them to concentrate on each other rather than arranging help. In closing, it is an honor to work beside the staff at Hospice of SLO - their commitment to clients, volunteers and the community is humbling and stellar.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I arrived to the Volunteer training nervous with many questions - who would be there, what would this training be like, what emotions would it bring up, and was I prepared to move forward with volunteering at this time. Right from the beginning, it became clear that this was going to be a positive, powerful, excellent, and engaging group and training.

I have been both a participant, and also a leader, for many different types of trainings for decades. The training for Hospice SLO was superb in every way: the level of knowledge, respect, compassion and warmth towards volunteers and hospice recipients is present in each and every segment of the training. The thoroughness of preparation for volunteers is deeply caring, and exemplary.

From a personal perspective, I found this training to be deeply healing. I have experienced many deaths in my life, and although I have spent much time healing and moving through losses, being with a compassionate, knowledgeable group in this manner who are desiring to use their experiences for service is inspiring, profoundly soothing and healing. I am looking forward to participating in many of the programs.

My training at Hospice SLO was everything I hoped and much more. I felt uplifted, supported and ready to move forward with volunteering.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice of San Luis Obispo County is an amazing organization that cares about the well being of their volunteers. The compassion that I have learned from Hospice is something that I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for HSLO on a regular basis. HSLO’s central purpose is to ease life-limiting illnesses, dying and the grief that follows. Too many people in our society face death alone, and when primary caregivers are in place, a little bit of help (on occasion, just to get caregivers out of the house for a couple of hours) goes a very, very long way. I am able to see an exponential return on the investment of time and energy. I also believe that HSLO is properly administered by first-rate qualified professionals who provide on-going training of volunteers, who are aware of the need to define and set the parameters of volunteer activities and who simultaneously are on the lookout to expand HLSO’s reach for the benefit of the community. For all this, HSLO CHARGES NOTHING for its services. It doesn’t get any better than that.

From my vantage point, it seems to me that HSLO’s primary difficulty is the recruitment and retention of volunteers. This circumstance is made more difficult by the current economy and very low unemployment numbers. My suggestion is that HSLO seek the input of its current volunteers about this issue. I would pursue highlighting HSLO’s profile in the community and budget for that expense. This would help in recruiting volunteers and in HSLO’s outreach to potential clients who need and deserve support and assistance as they confront life’s final challenge.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and have found SLOH to be staffed by caring and committed employees and dedicated, well-trained volunteers. I couldn't have found a better organization to be involved with. Thank you SLOH!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with Hospice SLO County, especially their professional, caring and friendly staff. I am a retired male in my 60s, and recently completed their very comprehensive In-Home Volunteer training program that opened my eyes to much knowledge that I was unaware of about the serious and important work related to end-of-life issues. The 30-hour training reflects much work and organization and includes numerous expert guest presenters in addition to the very qualified Volunteer Coordinators. The volunteer training manual provided to trainees is very detailed and is an excellent resource for volunteers as they serve their clients.

As a retiree with some time on my hands, another revelation was coming in contact with many other volunteers of all ages with such compassion and commitment to help people in need at such a critical yet vulnerable time. It is inspiring to know there are many such people in SLO County who volunteer but I would not have known if I had not signed up myself. The need for their services is great, and a client waiting list exists until more In-Home Volunteers are trained. Hospice SLO is undoubtedly an under-appreciated resource on the Central Coast and very worthy of all the recognition it receives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Participated in a caregiver support group for 2 or 3 years. This helped me get through some very stressful times. The leaders, Roslyn and Kathy, as well as all the group members, helped me gain insight into my role as a caregiver. The support I received enabled me to find the courage to place my spouse in an assisted living facility and find time to "become a real person" again. I was in a terrible state when I started working with the group and now I am able to cope with life again. My husband is also in a better place and is aware of what I was going through. I am still involved with the support group, and now I feel like I am able to give back to its new members.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hospice of SLO County literally saved me when my daughter and her husband were murdered thirty-one years ago. I attended the General Bereavement Group (which is all there was back then). I do not know how anyone survives loss without their help. I have had other losses since then and always attend a group. For a few years I have been a group facilitator and now try and give back. This is the best organization!!!! Charlotte Wood, Los Osos

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hospice SLO county is an all volunteer hospice, so the training and recognition given to volunteers is a big part of the whole experience of volunteering. Having volunteered with many non-profits in my life time, I can honestly say that Hospice SLO is the BEST non-profit I've ever worked with in terms of training and recognition of its volunteers. In addition, the personal and professional rewards and learnings you get by being involved in this type of work are immense and life changing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

HOSPICE SAN LUIS OBISPO is an outstanding organization. My husband recently passed away after a long illness and I was able to work through my grief and sadness with the expert guidance of Roslyn Strohl and Kathy Murphy. They cofacilitated our caregivers group which met every other week for almost 3 years. We had a wonderful group of 12 ladies who were all very interactive and supportive. I feel my transition to widowhood would not have been as positive as it has been, if I had not had the expert guidance and care offered by Roslyn and Kathy. Thank you Roslyn and Kathy and all the dear ladies who participated in our group. Sincerely, Shiela Schraub

Dianne T.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have 7 resorts in the Caribbean - certificates to these 4 star all-inclusive resorts includes all meals, drinks and non motorized sports - for fundraising for non profits. there are costs involved so you would need to call me so I can tell you about them. the certificated are good until Dec 2019. they are good for 7-10 nights for up to 3 rooms.

Participating resorts include: The Verandah Resort and Spa, Antigua; St. James’s Club & Villas, Antigua; Pineapple Beach Club Antigua; Palm Island Resort & Spa, The Grenadines; St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, Saint Lucia; The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa; and Los Establos Boutique Inn, Panama.
call Dianne Tuttle 805-781-2630

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Hospice SLO for 16 years and they get better and better, always looking at how best to serve the community. From their free individual and group bereavement counseling to in home volunteer care to community crisis response to pet peace of mind, the staff is professional, caring, and heartfelt. A volunteer hospice, their training is superb and volunteers are supported and valued. With a small staff, a huge service is offered for people facing illness or the loss of a loved one. Their ongoing education programs help the community deal with life, death, and dying. Their website photo, people with arms around each other, illustrates their values and orientation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an intern at the Hospice of San Luis Obispo. As I have come to learn how things run at the Hospice of SLO, I have to say it was one of the best and most well run elder care organizations. All the staff are very experienced, knowledgeable, positive, and patient.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Warm fellowship, a caring staff, and a cozy environment make this organization a wonderful place to volunteer. My tasks primarily involve administrative and secretarial-type functions in support of the staff and counselors. Little things that seem to make their jobs easier, and they are always so kind in letting me know that it does! I am often the first to greet those arriving for counseling, and enjoy and have benefitted from the chance to touch their lives by something as simple as a nice and caring greeting. Have particularly liked the way the staff here have gone out of their way to make me feel a real part of this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The scenario (pick one): Your child's high school student committed suicide; a family member or your best friend just died after a long struggle with cancer; a family member or friend died suddenly and unexpectedly; your spouse died; your pet died: you or loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness; etc. Any one of these scenarios result in you "having the worst day of your life." You are overwhelmed with grief, you can't take nourishment, can't sleep, can't think, can't stop crying, and basically can't function at all. Someone mentions Hospice of San Luis Obispo County and provides your with the phone number. You make the call and immediately you are embraced with sincere kindness, compassion, and understanding. You are connected to counseling and support groups who guide and support you in coping with your loss or pending loss. Hospice of SLO County is a non-medical hospice with a focus on respite care, social and practical support. All the services are provided free-of-charge to children and adults by experienced professionals and trained hospice volunteers. First hand, as a board of directors member, I have observed the dedication of the administrative staff, the professional staff, the volunteers, and fellow board members. They are passionate about fulfilling the mission of Hospice of SLO County. Hospice of SLO County is where the healing begins.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I volunteer for Hospice SLO County for their Pet Peace of Mind program. Through this program, we’ve fostered a beautiful shih tzu Toby, whose owner went into hospice care in 2013 when she was no longer able to care for Toby. Toby was severely neglected when we began fostering him in 2013, at 14 years old. Our friends who saw this poor dog didn’t think he’d survive more than six months.

The goal was to find a “forever home” for Toby, but placing an old dog with ongoing medical expenses is next to impossible. We regretted not being in a financial position to do adopt him ourselves. But Hospice Pet Peace of Mind stepped up to it graciously and dependably, paying his ongoing and costly medical bills.

Toby is now 18 and still loves his walks, food, and being around other dogs and people. He brings a smile to so many people we encounter. Hospice has also loaned us a very nice dog stroller to use for him on our walks, when his arthritic limbs protest.

Toby brought many smiles to my son’s face this year as Jeff lived with us during his cancer battle. I feel that Toby was part of the healing energy and process for Jeff.

We’ve given Toby a lot of love and good care, but without the loving care and financial support of Hospice Pet Peace of Mind, this beautiful animal would not survive.

Hospice is a life saver, on so many levels, and the people we’ve dealt with are deeply caring individuals.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was referred to Hospice SLO County by my private therapist whom I was seeing because I was struggling with the death of my mother. My therapist said " you could benefit from having a crying buddy " and hearing from others who are going through the same thing.

The facilitators were so sincere at explaining that tears were welcome. That tears meant the people we lost mattered. That for every tear we cry, we heal a little more. The tears need to come out. This was a safe place where that can happen. That was very consoling to me.

Part of the group structure is that we can tell our stories about our loved ones over and over and over again. This is the place that doesn't get tired of hearing it from you. And the stories need to be told. This made the group very personal.

An important point that I learned is that I'm not trying to get *over* my mother's death. I trying to get through it. I don't want to get *over* it. I'll never be *over* it, but I can heal and become "me" again.

I would heartily encourage them to try out the group. Come to a meeting. No pressure to talk. Just listen if you want to. I would tell them that they would find comfort in being in a group that truly understood the emotional and physical pain of grief, and that the group would be of great support through the journey ahead, without judgement.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

HSLO is the only volunteer hospice in SLO county, and I have volunteered there since 2006. HSLO supports its volunteers, clients and caregivers with valuable services, all at no cost. I have worked with hundreds of clients in my time with HSLO, and experienced first-hand the gratitude and the appreciation of clients who discover the range of our services. Whether HSLO is educating the community and reaching out to those who grieve, or offering respite during the most difficult times in our lives, it offers a special and extraordinary level of care and heart.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work as a volunteer in the office answering telephones, greeting people, and helping with various office projects. All the people at Hospice of SLO - both volunteers and paid staff - are extremely dedicated to helping people in any way they can. They are very caring and sensitive to individual and family needs. It is a pleasure working with all of them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my husband died, I coped. I'm a good 'coper'. A woman I knew only slightly took me aside one day and said, "I know you think you can handle this. You probably can, but it will be better if you go to some meetings." She took me to my first Grief Support meeting sponsored by Hospice of San Luis Obispo County. I continued to go for almost three years. The facilitators were comfortable and comforting. It was a welcoming place to come to cry and laugh. We were all made aware that there was more help available. Individual counseling could be had at no charge. Some members came to group; some to individual therapy; some used both. Other facilitators were sometimes brought in. All were obviously trained and empathetic. Even when someone was having a particularly bad time, one always felt the safety of their ability to handle the situations that arose. We became friends. With their help, we held each other up. I brought newly grieving widows into their care, even after I had left. I shall remain forever grateful they were there when I was at my worst.