Citizens Against Spouse Abuse, Inc. (CASA) began as a grassroots initiative developed by local clergy, social agencies, concerned citizens, and civic and business leaders in Pettis County who collectively sought to address the pervasive problem of violence in the family and its detrimental effects on all involved. This vision grew into a reality through our incorporation as a non-profit agency in June of 1983. CASA began providing volunteer-based hotline services, crisis intervention, and temporary, safe homes provided by volunteer community members. As community support increased, CASA purchased a two-story residential property in 1986. This facility provided safe housing and personal support to survivors until 1994 when we purchased and moved to a 7,500 square foot commercial facility. With a 1996 Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) project, we were able to become debt-free of our commercial mortgage and have been fortunate to remain in this same facility since 1994.
In the years since our incorporation, CASA has never remained in a state of complacency, but instead, continued to push forward ensuring that any gaps in services are answered to. We expanded from our humble beginnings to become the trusted expert on domestic and sexual violence in the Pettis, Saline, and Benton County area. Our knowledge of trauma-informed services enabled us to combat the barriers that survivors face when fleeing their abusive relationship and/or those healing from the trauma of their experience. The barriers faced by many survivors include safety, financial stability, affordable housing, legal assistance in civil and criminal matters, access to community resources, and employment. In order to empower our clients with the proper tools to overcome these barriers, our agency designed our programming to address these issues. Through a broad range of comprehensive services, and the collaborative community partnerships, we are able to aid residential and non-residential survivors by offering the following services:
- 24-hour crisis hotline;
- Emergency food and shelter for women and children;
- Food Program
- Crisis intervention and case management;
- Structured children’s programming;
- Housing search and financial assistance;
- Court advocacy for civil and criminal matters;
- Language and cultural access services;
- Individual, free therapy;
- Hospital response for sexual assault survivors;
- Community support groups;
- Resources and referrals;
- Volunteer training and development;
- Community education and awareness presentations; and
- Educational internships and practicums for undergraduate and graduate students.
CASA’s current shelter facility is located in Pettis County, Missouri. We serve the communities of Pettis, Saline, and Benton Counties. Pettis includes the areas of Green Ridge, Houstonia, Hughesville, La Monte, Sedalia, Smithton, and Pettis County Rural. Saline includes Marshall and Benton includes Warsaw, Lincoln, Cole Camp, and Benton County Rural. Our 7500 square foot facility has two floors. The main floor is fully handicapped accessible with 5 staff offices and 7 client residential bedrooms which can sleep up to 4-5 individuals per room. Each room further has its own bathroom which is also handicapped accessible. Communal areas of our building include a newly remodeled, open concept living room, dining room, and fully-equipped kitchen. Children can partake of the children’s playroom or the teen room, and also enjoy the commercial-grade playset on our grounds. CASA also offers a sizeable laundry room facility for our clients that has two commercial-grade washers and dryers. The basement area of our facility houses 5 staff offices, as well as a large conference area for weekly survivor support groups and life skills and educational classes.