For nearly 40 years, domestic violence survivors in southern Pinellas County have relied on CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) for safety planning, judicial advocacy, support groups and emergency housing allowing them to rebuild safer lives for themselves and their children.
Unfortunately, the level of domestic violence in our community was such as to overwhelm its domestic violence shelter in recent years — a situation the organization found unacceptable. When special funding became available as seed money to build a larger shelter, they jumped on the opportunity to create a new facility triple the size of the old one.
In July 2015 CASA opened the doors to a brand-new 100-bed domestic violence center that not only increased the number of beds available to families escaping a violent home life, but also allowed the organization to integrate and develop new on-site services for domestic violence survivors. A resource center helping survivors attain economic independence from abusers was opened, as was a “boutique” filled with emergency work clothing, school uniforms and other supplies; a clinic staffed weekly by nurses from St. Anthony’s hospital, enhanced youth programming; rooms for community partners to provide legal and other services; and much more.
This week CASA celebrates the 1-year anniversary of its shelter’s opening. Since that day, CASA has provided a cumulative 32,000 nights of safety and support to hundreds of women, children and men in dire need. CASA expresses great thanks for the outpouring of support shown by community members, corporations and institutional funders who have invested in the organization, allowing it to build a safer community and help end the generational cycle of violence.
As much support as CASA has received over the years, the contributions it has historically received was enough to fund the organization it was. It is now looking for the community’s investment in the enhanced organization it has become. Increased demands on food supplies, shelter, enhanced services and a mortgage to have created enormous new financial strains on the organization.
CASA asks for you to join hands and invest in a safer community. Please make that financial investment online at www.casa-stpete.org/donate or contact John Biesinger at 727-895-4912 x105 / firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.