Community

CASA Celebrates Grand Opening with Celebration

CASA of St. Landry-Evangeline celebrated the grand opening of their new location on Bellevue Street in Opelousas with a Ribbon Cutting on Tuesday evening.

CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, had to relocate after their former facility was sold by the landlord in August. Through great effort and assistance from the community and local organizations, CASA opened the doors to new beginnings in their newly claimed location at 346 W. Bellevue Street.

The Bellevue street building was graciously offered by the Bellevue Baptist Church to the non-profit organization, pending much-needed repairs. With the generous support from community members, contributions from local groups, fundraising events, and considerable donations from Evangeline Downs Race Track and Casino, St. Landry-Evangeline United Way and Delek Refinery, the organization has been able to make the necessary renovations to make the new building their home.

“Countless individuals and businesses have contributed time, materials and labor unto us. It truly took the village to help with this project.” – Madelyn Rosette, Executive Director of CASA.

“If the kids are our future, let’s work together to better our future by making investments and taking time to uplift, advocate, and support them. Unity will help us work together to improve our community”, stated Madelyn.

And ‘the village’ did, in fact, come out to see it through as many community members, leaders and elected officials were present to celebrate the grand opening of the new location with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by St. Landry Chamber of Commerce. Refreshments and food were provided to guests who came out to the celebration and tour the new offices. Children were also welcome and were given a variety of items that were generously distributed from toys to personal care items and coats for the kids.

Judge Shaunn Caillier-Harden, who works directly with city court cases in foster care and appoints volunteers to serve on cases, was also in attendance as she proudly supported her friend Madelyn Rosette in achieving this project. Caillier-Harden says her involvement in CASA began long before she was elected as city court judge and it is a program close to her heart. She is a lifelong resident of Opelousas and says her passion is engagement with parents and youth, promoting and recognizing the importance of working together to ensure avenues of hope, opportunities, and education.

With the new relocation the organization aims to continue moving forward in ensuring that every child in the foster care system receives the care, support, and representation they deserve. Their new facility offers more space for the growth and continued development that CASA volunteers work towards achieving.

In recent months the CASA of St. Landry-Evangeline training team has experienced an increase in interested individuals willing to become volunteers. In October Louisiana CASA, the statewide association that oversees the network of dedicated local CASA programs, reached 100% statewide coverage of all 64 parishes and 42 Judicial District Courts in Louisiana.