The Community Accommodation & Support Agency Inc (‘CASA’) has been serving the local community since its establishment in 1983. CASA’s mission is to strengthen households in the Mackay area by providing tailored housing and support services to achieve independence, stability and self-reliance.
I have the privilege of serving as a voluntary committee member for CASA alongside other interested local community members including Barbara Kallio, a paralegal of our office.
I am very lucky to be in a position to be able to offer my time and services to such a great community organisation that has helped so many of our local people and am pleased to be able to provide my continued support as a committee member.
CASA was established in 1983 by community members to provide accommodation with affordable rent to homeless people, was incorporated in 1984 and obtained its charitable status in 2000.
Since 1983, CASA has expanded to now employ 15 dedicated local employees.
CASA offers a variety of services and programs to the local community including:-
- Community Housing Program – The Community Housing Program includes Long Term Community Housing, Community Managed Studio Units and Youth Transitional Housing programs.
- Crisis Housing Program – This program provides short-term, supported crisis accommodation for local families such as those who are victims of domestic violence. The length of occupancy depends upon individual needs however, this is generally up to twelve weeks. This program includes a case worker which supports the family to work towards goals and assist them in securing alternative stable housing.
- No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) – NILS offers an alternative form of credit for households on low incomes in Mackay and is funded by Good Shepherd Microfinance. The loans are able to be provided to families who need a household item such as a fridge or washing machine, an item for education or for health reasons.
- HomeStay Service – HomeStay assists people at risk of becoming homeless to maintain independent accommodation and remain housed. Support is offered through case managements by providing support, information, advocacy and referrals. This service is to assist people renting through real estates, private lessors, caravan parks, social housing or in home ownership. This is a free service and people can self-refer to get assistance from CASA.
- Community Care Program – CASA also offers a Community Care program that provides domestic assistance, social support services and care coordination to frail aged and those with disability so they can continue to live independently in their own home. CASA has recently also commenced providing a Home Modification service for eligible people.
- Emergency Relief – CASA has limited funds that are mostly used for rent assistance primarily for families with children to assist them in addressing immediate basic needs in times of crisis.
The funding for these programs is received from a number of different government agencies however; CASA also relies upon donations of clean items in good condition such as furniture, linen, pots and pans, rod pocket curtains, and toys from the community to continue providing its valuable services.
If you have any items you wish to donate, or would like to speak to one of CASA’s experienced staff members to seek help then CASA can be contacted on 4951 4299 or you can drop into the office at the corner of Gregory and Alfred Streets to make an appointment time.
If you would like to keep up to date with what is happening at CASA you can follow them on Facebook by searching “CASA – Community Accommodation & Support Agency Inc”.