Volunteer Mediation: A Peaceful Way to Resolve Differences, By Jon Schorsch

Volunteers of America, Western Washington chapter, offers a variety of helpful services to Seattle and the surrounding communities. Among other services, the organization provides mediation and facilitation for those who need it. Mediation refers to aiding in disagreements between separate parties, whereas facilitation is the process of remedying internal conflicts between the members of a group. By taking advantage of Volunteers of America’s mediation and facilitation service, many disputes and interpersonal conflicts can be resolved without having to resort to more drastic methods such as going through the legal system.

The mediation/facilitation process is totally voluntary and confidential. Mediators are trained to remain neutral and work with both parties to help reach a compromise that is agreeable all around. Moreover, mediation services are available for many common types of disagreement. Mediators are on hand to help figure out problems between tenants and landlords, neighbors, and family members, as well as to resolve consumer complaints and more. Facilitation services likewise provide a way to find a compromise on which every member of a group with the same interest, such as a neighborhood association or parent-teacher association, can agree.

Taking advantage of Volunteers of America’s mediation services has several benefits. By bringing a dispute to mediation, a win-win outcome with input from both sides can often be achieved. Additionally, the mediation system is much faster and cheaper than the formal court system. Best of all, mediation has a very high rate of resolution.

About the author: Jon Schorsch is a former police officer and police sergeant for the Port of Seattle. Jon Schorsch volunteers as a mediator with the Volunteers of America of Western Washington.


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