CASA Guadalupana began as a Catholic Worker house on the lower West Side of St. Paul serving Latino immigrants and the Latino Community at large. A move in 2005 into the former rectory of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church allowed for expanded opportunities for temporary housing for immigrant women and children, continuation of services to the community at large and educational opportunities for the broader community about the issues of migration. In 2011 the individual who had been CASA’s driving force experienced significant health issues and withdrew, leaving a committee of volunteers to continue the mission. The task proved difficult, and faced with the prospect of closing, a new board of directors was formed who were able to establish a partnership with the Council of Churches, now known as Interfaith, to offer temporary housing along with training and educational opportunities, through an organization known as The Family Place, to homeless women and their children. The goal was to offer housing for a period of four months, offer educational opportunities and assistance in saving money, finding employment and moving into one’s own apartment. The model was quite effective and allowed over 80 families to move on and into their own housing. This arrangement also provided the funding for CASA to meet the costs of maintaining the house and to continue its mission to serve the Latino
In February of 2018 CASA was notified that its partners were experiencing financial difficulties and would no longer be able to meet their financial commitment. Since February our ability to focus on our mission has been severely compromised. We have been able to provide some housing and support while meeting the costs of maintaining the home and due to a federal grant have been able to upgrade the homes electrical components as well as install full house air conditioning. This has been important as the home is a large Victorian style home built in the late 1800’s. These projects are now coming to a conclusion and we are once again fully able to offer temporary housing and support services.
We are currently in discussion with three potential community partners, each of whom is serving families in need of temporary housing. Most of these folks are not eligible for publically funded services, but are in need of culturally relevant assistance to help them fully integrate into the community. All three of these agencies are wholly compatible with our mission – to be a welcoming place that affirms the equal God-given dignity of every person.
Whichever entity we partner with will not be able to commence services and funding until March of 2019 at the earliest. We also do not yet know what the financial terms of the partnership will be. However we do know that the annual cost of maintaining the home is around $20,000. We currently have funds to meet the expenses of maintaining the home and our financial obligations to those we have committed to serve through the end of February. At this point we are seeking $5,000 to ensure we can meet obligations through the end of April 2019. That should provide sufficient funding to allow continued exploration of sustainable annual funding options.
Any assistance you can give will be most appreciated.
CASA Guadalupana is a Tax exempt 501(C) 3Charitable organization. Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.