Beyond the Shelter: Small Successes That Lead to Hope
By Trina S.
The Resource Center at CASA’s new 100-bed domestic violence center is quickly becoming a hub of activity. It includes a workspace for residents to study, write resumes and apply for jobs, but it is much more that. It is a place that connects our wonderful community partners with residents, and residents with each other. It is a place where small successes are acknowledged and encouraged – small successes that lead to hope. And, as one resident mentioned “sometimes it’s just a place to get a hug!”
The 24-hour accessible center is equipped with six computers programmed with frequently used databases marked for easy access. Residents can explore careers that match their skills and interests, search for a job, or locate information on affordable housing. Documents can conveniently be faxed or scanned directly to state agencies to apply for cash or food assistance. During staffed hours, CASA Resource Advocates are available to tutor and offer support.
CASA residents can pursue their GED entirely online or on campus through Tomlinson Adult Learning Center, which has waved the course fee for participants. For those pursuing higher education, St. Petersburg College offers free online classes that help prospective students prepare for SPC’s College Placement Test.
The center is also the place for residents to discover the wide variety of programs and services offered on-site by community partners. They can make appointments for individual pro-bono legal advice, learn when the next group financial literacy course will be offered, or sign up for special programs.
One recent community program, entitled “Cooking Matters,” was offered by Pinellas County Extension at the shelter kitchen. The weekly series of six classes was a great success, with hands-on lessons on budgeting, cooking nutritionally well-balanced meals and price-conscious shopping. The course ended with a fun team cook-off contest, where lucky (and hungry) staff members got to be judges!
Here we turn “obstacles into solutions” states CASA’s Advocate and Career Center Specialist. The mission is to empower residents to help themselves reach their individual goals, and CASA has many cohorts in the community who collaborate to help residents succeed.
What Does CASA's Shelter Need?
October Wish List
CASA's Shelter has frequently changing needs. For the month of October we would be extremely grateful for donations of the items listed below. They include general staples such as food and clothing, as well as Halloween decorations and costumes for the kids in our Youth Programs.
Donations can be brought to our community center at 1011 First Ave N, St. Petersburg during normal business hours. (Please indicate the items are meant for the shelter.)
Thank you for your generosity! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Food (snacks and dinner)- non perishables
- Canned veggies and fruit
- Box mashed potatoes
- Mac and cheese
- Ramon noodles
- Pop tarts
- Boxed juices
- Real fruit juice
- Peanut butter
- Canned tuna
- Canned chicken
- Spaghetti sauce
- Dried fruit
- Pancake mix
- Spaghetti O’s and Ravioli
- Taco Shells or kits
- Paper plates/cups/utensils
- Arts & Crafts Supplies
- Water toys
- Outside toys
- Holiday decorations- Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year
- Halloween costumes
- New or gently used toys
- Uniforms- khaki bottoms and solid color collard shirts, navy/tan jumpers (girls)
- Children Shoes
- Play clothes
Any donations for Youth Participants are greatly appreciated! Thank you for generosity.