Coalition For Family Harmony | HOLIDAY WISH BOOK
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The holidays are usually a time where we gather with family, cherish company, and celebrate gifts and gratitude. However, 2020 has been a dramatically different year for all of us, and while the pandemic has created challenges on every level imaginable, we have seen a secondary, “shadow pandemic” emerge.


Since March, we have seen an approximate 10% increase in state-wide domestic violence calls that included weapons.


What’s worse is that we suspect that number may be higher here in Ventura County.  Historically, our average incidents of domestic violence are much higher than most counties in the state.


The pandemic and the stay at home orders that came with it has led to a dramatic increase in domestic violence in homes that were already experiencing such issues; and we are also seeing an increase in services to households without a history of violence. People are less able to leave their abusers, and the scars of abuse are now hidden because of physical distancing practices. But together, we can end the cycle.


The lifesaving services we provide are not be possible without you. So this year, we are presenting you with our “Wish Book” – a series of our services and stories – gifts we provide to our community – and the cost to provide them. We would appreciate your support through any of the “gifts” listed in here, as our services become even more critical during the holidays.


You may feel a pause after reading this, with hopes for better times, and a world with less hurt in it. You can provide a world with less hurt and more hope to those who walk through our doors.


Thank you for your support, and thank you for granting these wishes


With Gratitude,


Caroline Prijatel-Sutton, Psy.D

Executive Director

Coalition for Family Harmony




Gift #1 Room Refresh

Walking through the doors of our domestic violence emergencyshelter is one of the hardest decisions our clients make. Nothing is familiar, nothing is YOURS. A room refresh is the gift of creating a space that feels just a little more like “home” while our survivors navigate next steps. We know that giving people the ability to make their own decisions — to choose their own items — gives them a sense of empowerment, and feeling empowered creates a ripple effect to help them bravely move forward.



“At the time that I found the Coalition for Family Harmony I was scared, hopeless, overwhelmed, riddled with ptsd and anxiety and feeling all alone. I reached out to the Coalition for Family Harmony, and by the end of the conversation I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.



I will never forget the first day showing up to the Coalition’s Transition House. My kids and I were oddly comfortable instantly. We had a lot of memorable experiences there. Ones I still hold dear to my heart. 



Coalition for Family Harmony helped my family by providing a safe space for us to relocate and regroup for 1 month; clothes, shoes hygiene products, blankets, toys for the kids, whatever supplies we needed they provided.



At the end of the 30 days we left the safe house feeling confident and enabled with the tools to launch our new life. They even helped me pay for the down payment for our new place and rent for several months to ensure we were good. 



Since then my kids and I are still safe and happier than ever. I am forever grateful to have been lead to such a beautiful program that is genuinely helping those in need by facilitating everything needed for those truly seeking family harmony. “


Cost: $500/room

Gift #2 – Legal Assistance


Legal assistance has become more complicated than ever because of COVID. In order to maintain health safety and the privacy that legal assistance requires, we developed an innovative solution – one that is getting the attention of other shelters and legal professionals across the state.


Clients connect with our attorney via laptops in separate rooms inside our secure facilities – enabling them to receive the critical legal support they need to break free from abuse, while also staying COVID-safe and having a protected place to fill out the paperwork without risk of their abuser walking through the door.


Easy access to legal assistance remains one of our top priorities, and one of our MOST needed services.



“[Name has been changed to ensure privacy} Carmen was referred to the Coalition after her husband was arrested for the third time for domestic violence. With him in jail, she felt it was an opportune time to leave the relationship with her three children. Carmen described feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and scared. She described how her abuser controlled her and made her believe she would not be able to make it on her own.


Carmen had employment but did not make enough to cover her rent, utilities and other expenses, which was why our Transitional Housing Program was attractive to her. She had a great apartment that was close to her children’s school and daycare. That, coupled with a restraining order, gave her the peace of mind that she would finally be safe.”


Cost $1,000/client







Gift #3 – Money For Gift Cards

Gift cards help us meet the immediate needs of our clients. They give us the flexibility to provide groceries, gas, housing supplies, clothing…ANYTHING they may need to take on that next step. Our ability to buy gift cards that match our client needs is a powerful part of recovery.


Additionally, COVID has eliminated our ability to safely provide Thanksgiving dinners for our Youth Probation Program participants. Our hope is to provide them with generous-sized gift cards so these families can purchase fixings for their own Thanksgiving dinners.


Cost Donations of all sizes are appreciated








Gift # 4 – Birthday Party

Every child deserves the joy of celebrating their birthday, and especially because we’re physically distanced, it’s important to make a child’s birthday feel special. Sponsoring a birthday party allows us the opportunity to provide a child with a special pizza and cake celebration, and the sense or normalcy. We know that familiarity is so important when things are tumultuous, and what is more familiar than blowing out candles on your birthday cake?


Cost $75

Gift #5 Counseling

Counseling is an integral part healing from trauma – regardless of whether that trauma stems from one’s childhood experiences, one’s intimate relationships, or elsewhere. The Coalition provides 10 free sessions to those who qualify for assistance, and while we know 10 sessions won’t necessarily bring close to our clients, we do know that starting the journey is sometimes the most powerful part of the process.



“For the past four years, I have struggled with depression and anxiety. I have tried speaking to doctors, psychiatrists, enrolling in group therapy and setting up individual therapy, but nothing was working. I was able to qualify for the Coalition for Family Harmony’s 10 free therapy sessions. My therapist has helped me grow so much in a space I believed was impossible without supportive parents. The first 10 sessions have done wonders, but I can tell I have only cleared the surface”


Cost: $500

Gift #6 Holiday Cheer

The Holidays should always be filled with love. But we have seen that too often, the holidays usually lead to an increase in domestic violence calls. We want to make sure anyone coming to our shelter during the holidays feels loved, and feels the warmth of the holiday season. Supporting holiday cheer helps us make the shelter feel warmer, more inviting and cheery to those who will certainly need the reminder that THAT is how the holidays should feel.


“Last year I was wrapped up in a very dangerous relationship with the father of my two young children.


It was a cycle I could not break


The coalition gave me the resources legally and financially to break off from this horrific situation.


It was not an easy journey but having constant support and the periodic check ins from the staff was amazing and made things easier.


Christmas came around and the Coalition supported me and my children with gifts. It was just so amazing and without their help I just don’t know where I would be right now.”


Cost: $500










Gift #7 PPE

Our rape crisis team is re-designing our programs so that we can resume in-person services, but it will require a significant investment in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to keep our clients and our staff safe.


Cost $100 for 1 week’s supply of PPE for one person