CASA is set to break ground any day now on our new 11-unit Durham community for veterans who are homeless and have disabilities. When we do, it will have a new name: The Denson Apartments for Veterans. Alex Denson, a retired judge and long-time advocate for our community’s homeless, served as CASA’s 3rd Board Chair. Alex is also a veteran. In the early 90s, he was at the forefront of efforts in Raleigh to develop an adequate homeless shelter, at a time when persons experiencing homelessness lacked safe places to go even during cold, dangerous nights. Because of this work, Alex was invited to join the board of a newly formed organization called CASA, whose mission was to create permanent homes for low-wealth persons with disabilities, many of whom Alex was seeing night after night in the shelter. A crucial leader on our Board for nine years, Alex shared with us his thoughts on naming the Denson Apartments in his honor:
“Any of us could suffer a tragedy, accident, illness or bad luck at any time that could cause us to lose our jobs, our possessions, and our homes causing us to become homeless. If that happens, we are the same people we always were, but we need a hand up to be able to return to independent living in safe, comfortable housing.
I was honored to be appointed to the first Board of Directors of CASA some 22 years ago because I realized that its mission was to fill this need.
As a veteran, I feel that I am in a special group of people who have served their country, often at great sacrifice to themselves and their families. We enjoy the freedoms of our democracy today because of the many people who have made this sacrifice. They were there for us when we needed them. We need to be there for them when they need us. And CASA is.
No higher honor could be paid me than to have these apartments for homeless veterans named in my honor. Nothing I have ever done or ever could do makes me deserving of this honor and it is a humbling thing to receive it.”
Hundreds of families and individuals have found dignity, relief, and hope in a CASA apartment since 1992, thanks in direct part to Alex Denson’s compassion, vision, and leadership. Recognizing our gratitude to Alex with Denson Apartments of Veterans is our honor.