by James Francis Gray
“Our goal is to strengthen children, families and communities to be safe, healthy and thriving.”
Since 1973, Interface Children & Family Services, a non-profit organization has served Ventura County as a grassroots response to struggling youth and families. Now, Interface is the region’s most comprehensive provider of safety net services, addressing the annual complex needs of 24,000 individuals annually. Executive Director, Erik Sternad said, “Many of Interface’s clients are low and very- low-income adults, children, and youths subject to the stressors of poverty, homelessness, family conflict, domestic violence, child abuse, and even human trafficking. We want the community to know that Interface is a one-stop resource for anyone in the midst of personal or family crisis seeking safety and stability at home.”
Interface, from their beginning, has been on the front line, opening one of California’s first domestic violence shelters. Today, they operate a 24/7 hotline and a Family Violence Response Team that is on high alert to respond to calls from law enforcement and victims of domestic violence fleeing violence day or night. Interface operates one of only two emergency shelters that exist in Ventura County and several dedicated transitional homes. These facilities provide up to 18 months of services to ensure the safety, health and economic well-being of survivors and their children.
Nicholle Gonzalez-Seitz, Interface Director of Family Violence Intervention Services said, “Reducing domestic violence in Ventura County is one of the agency’s highest strategic priorities. The only way to dramatically reduce domestic violence in our region is to coordinate our efforts. We are proud to be among the organizations taking a pledge to #move ToEndDV with Meathead Movers and other high profile partners. Together we can raise awareness of this issue and be a support for victims so they don’t have to suffer in silence. In 2016, we successfully launched our DV Champions for Change campaign and have community leaders, businesses, corporations, clinics and other non-profits joining us to achieve this goal.”
Interface needs your help. Domestic violence prevention services are only possible through donations and grants from individuals and organizations, as well as by the work of dedicated volunteers and staff. Community members who wish to support Interface are encouraged to designate a gift to DV Champions for Change, attend Love is Brewing Luncheon and Tea on May 7 at Limoneira Ranch, or contact Interface at 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., Suite I, Camarillo, CA 93012, 485-6114, www.icfs.org/DVChampion.