CASDA opens new facilityThe Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse is opening the doors if its new, renovated facility to the public Tuesday.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
The Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse is opening the doors if its new, renovated facility to the public Tuesday.
“We would love our community to come check it out because in the end that helps everyone,” said Kelly Burger, executive director.
The former medical clinic was renovated into a 10-bedroom, four bathroom shelter on the upper floor with CASDA offices on the lower level. A capital campaign, launched quietly two years ago, raised $1.1 million for the project.
Over the last 3-5 years, Burger said, CASDA has been turning away almost as many women and children as they have been able to work with. And over the past 10 years, they have continually had a waiting list.
“So were hoping with the 10 bedroom it eases a little bit of the community need out there,” Burger said.
CASDA moved out of Hawkes Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus last February because the space was needed for dorm rooms. Last year, the shelter was housed in a three-bedroom residence instead of the eight-bedroom UWS facility. Last year, they organization was only able to house 56 women and 54 children, about 115 less than average.
Burger thanked the many community donors, especially large corporate donors, who rolled up their sleeves and chipped in to make the facility a reality.
“We cannot do this work without community backing,” Burger said.
On Wednesday, the families staying at the three-bedroom shelter will move to their new home.
“When you know there are three to four families on a waiting list right now it’s really hard to say we’ll do this slowly,” Burger said. “No, we need to get back up to par and run the 10 bedroom facility we’re ready to run ... We really want to be home, all of us back together.”
Women and children can stay at the shelter for up to 45 days, with extensions available to help them get to a point of stability.
“What we’re seeing is some women, especially with children, it’s really hard to turn your life around in 30 days,” Burger said.
Bruce Thompson with National Bank of Commerce said the community bank chose to support CASDA and a recent child safety event for the same reason.
“As our community goes, our bank goes,” he said. “And if we don’t have a healthy community, we don’t have a healthy banking environment. We need to do everything we can to support the structure of this community so that we can have a healthier business in the long run.”
With the financial support from the community, CASDA was able to provide new furnishings for the shelter.
“We should not have any long-term debt if the pledges keep coming in,” Burger said.
The organization will now learn to budget for the costs associated with owning their own facility. Fundraising is still ongoing, said board member Don Odermann.