An Unexpected Benefit of Volunteering
February 4, 2019
Sheila was referred to CASA by CPI after her ex-partner had kidnapped their daughter — she had no idea agencies like CASA existed. CASA assisted Sheila as she filed for an Injunction for Protection (restraining order) for herself and her baby, which was ultimately approved for a very long time. Throughout this process, Sheila’s ex had been in jail on the kidnapping charges and was brazen enough to back talk the judge during the court hearing. She realized that his temper in court would be directed at her when he was released so Sheila applied for the relocation assistance that she heard about in her first meeting with CASA.
During an in-home visit, a CASA advocate noticed that not only was the family without living room furniture, but the holidays were around the corner and the family didn’t have any decorations. When the CASA advocate asked if Sheila had plans to celebrate the holiday, Sheila’s eyes welled up with tears. Unfortunately, Sheila was unable to afford Christmas and promised her children she would try next year. The CASA advocate promptly signed the family up for the Hope for the Holidays program so that Sheila didn’t have to worry about the emotional burden of her children missing Christmas. In addition, CASA was able to provide Sheila with gift cards to purchase a tree for the children to enjoy.
When CASA checked in on Sheila, she was proud to report she had found a new apartment through CASA’s Rapid-rehousing program, somewhere her abuser would not know where to look and she planned to move that coming weekend. Later that day she found out her relocation application had been approved for the full amount and she would have the financial assistance needed to move! Sheila and her children are now in a safe and stable home far away from her abuser.
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