24 Hour Hotline: 352-344-8111 or 
1-800-500-1119

History of CASA

The Citrus County Abuse Shelter Association (CASA) is a private, non-profit organization that was incorporated on May 2, 1983. CASA began with local volunteers with a mission to empower victims of domestic violence to become independent.  CASA’s service area is Citrus County, but it often expands to surrounding rural areas.

 

CASA began with a 24-hour hotline to assist victims of domestic violence and rape.  The program operated with volunteers trained for crisis intervention pursuant to domestic violence, rape, and child molestation.  Efforts were productive in acquiring support services with local law enforcement agencies, the legal system and the mental health facility.

 

In 1985, a temporary building was used for emergency shelter services.  A residential facility was purchased in 1989 to service as an emergency shelter and safe house for CASA.  An expansion to this facility occurred in 1990 that increased the shelter capacity to 16 beds.

 

Revenue from the Marriage License Trust Fund was received from the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS) in1989. This influx of funding made it possible to expand the emergency shelter and to add paid staff positions.  CASA could now augment services provided by volunteers and assure the continuity and the stability of its programs.  An outreach office was also established.  This would allow survivors of domestic violence to continue counseling through groups and individual counseling, and they would be able to meet with advocates on a regular basis. 

 

Over time, CASA received funding from the United Way, the Citrus County Commission, FEMA, and VOCA, in addition to private donations.  This funding allows CASA to offer support and counseling to both shelter residents and outreach survivors, it provides for advocates to assist survivors with goals (attend court, help with transportation, injunctions,  referrals, etc.), and to educate the community about the dynamics of domestic violence.  All other funding comes from the community supporting our needs with in-kind donations.

 

In 2005, CASA received a grant from State of Florida for $833,199 to build a new shelter facility and to expand the number of people that CASA can serve.  CASA was also awarded the Challenge Grant for $60,000 to purchase land.  From that point, CASA leveraged both of the grants to secure additional grant funding and private donations.  Grant money totaled over 1 million dollars.  CASA built a new shelter and a new outreach center.  The shelter now has 32 beds, which has doubled our shelter capacity.  The entire capital project is completely paid in full.  CASA is solvent and all donations to CASA go to support our mission.