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Nonprofits

La Casa grants support shelter, financial literacy program

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LAS CRUCES - La Casa, Inc., a nonprofit that provides advocacy, education and support for more than 1,000 victims of abuse each year, has received two grants toward enhancing its programs and services.

In August, the Allstate Foundation awarded La Casa $20,000 to support financial literacy for its clients, while the Lineberry Foundation gave La Casa $25,000 to help fund its emergency shelter program.

“We’re really thankful to the Lineberry Foundation and Allstate,” said La Casa Executive Director Henry Brutus. “Anytime we get funding, 100 percent of the funds will go back to client services.”

The emergency shelter program offers a safe place for men, women and children fleeing violence, with safe housing for up to 90 days plus counseling. Services are rendered regardless of race, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or income status.

“People come to us from all different walks of life, and they are escaping some form of domestic violence and they need a place to stay, so we provide that,” said La Casa Event Coordinator Pamela Strobbe.

“We can house up to 83 [people] at a time and are 98 percent full 100 percent of the time.”

The Lineberry grant will help ensure continuing emergency shelter services to domestic violence victims.

“The emergency shelter is important because we’re here 24/7 and prior to that grant, we had a shortfall in terms of funding for our overnight staff,” Brutus said. “This grant does not complete the entire shortfall but gets us closer to meeting that need.”

The Allstate grant will fund a curriculum-based financial literacy program that teaches people about safety, empowerment, economic abuse and other financial concepts such as budgeting, credit, banking and investing, ensuring clients are taught life-long financial habits, according to a news release.   

“Research shows that financial dependency is one of the strongest predictors of a victim’s decision to remain in an abusive relationship and that can be stronger than the physical safety issues,” Strobbe said.

“It’s really about empowerment,” Brutus said. “A lot of times, when people come to us, they are at the lowest point in their lives because of physical abuse, but it also has to do with emotional and financial abuse.

“When someone comes in, they may be stay-at-home moms, for example, and so did not have control over checkbooks or finances and have still not taken that step to leave the relationship.”

Federal, state and private grants make up about 80 percent of La Casa’s total funding.

“We’re in a good place financially,” Brutus said. “But we want to increase services, so there is always a need for more funding.”

La Casa is located at 800 S. Walnut St. Call 575-526-9513 or visit LaCasaInc.org.

Alexia Severson may be contacted at alexia@lascrucesbulletin.com.

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