In Memoriam

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
Warren Bennis, management expert

For the first time in 23 years, CASA is closing out the year without our friend and colleague, Debra King. As CASA’s longtime CEO, Debra exemplified the ability to take an idea and make it a reality. A true visionary, Debra saw the potential in forgotten buildings, empty lots of land, and people who too often slip through the cracks.

On April 14, 2018, Debra died after a battle with cancer. She was 59. CASA staff, community partners, and tenants are still mourning her death and feeling her absence.

We know Debra’s impact will long outlast our grief. Her vision for an end to homelessness is realized each time someone signs a new lease with CASA and moves into a permanent, affordable home in which to heal and thrive. This report, as well as all of our work, is dedicated to her.

From Our Leaders

Thank you for supporting CASA. You made a difference in so many ways in 2018. Here are some highlights:

  • You surpassed our fundraising goal by nearly $20,000!
  • You helped us build our internal capacity, adding staff members and Board members to position CASA for quality service for our tenants and growth for the future.
  • You supported our efforts to preserve and rehabilitate 79 affordable housing units at CASA’s Maplewood and Underwood Apartments in Durham.
  • You advocated for our work to secure land on Carroll Street in Durham as a site for future homes for individuals and families exiting homelessness.
  • You attended and supported our first annual fundraising breakfast in Durham, raising $40,000 to support CASA’s affordable housing mission.

And you supported us as we grieved the loss of our friend Debra. “Thank you” doesn’t begin to express our gratitude.

Every day, we are humbled by your support and commitment to our community. You help end homelessness for veterans, hard-working families, and people living with disabilities when you share CASA’s story, volunteer with us, or make a gift.

The solution to homelessness is housing. Thank you for being part of the solution.

— Mary Jean Seyda, CEO and Nancye Bryan, Board President

Property Management Highlights

We’re proud to share our new brand video, created by Workshop Media. And thank you to CASA tenants Davonne and Aaron for sharing your stories.

Meet Aaron, who served in the Marine Corps for 10 years. Hear his story and how CASA helped him and his family get back on their feet.

See how CASA housing has impacted current tenant Khadijah. Hear her story and discover how affordable housing can change people’s lives.

CASA’s Volunteer Program

CASA’s volunteers are always coming up with new ways to help us achieve our mission. This spring, volunteers from Alamance Community College cleaned up CASA’s Geer Street property in Durham. Society Real Estate hosted a block party for tenants in Raleigh, and a group of professionals from the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Raleigh program implemented a new software system to recruit, track, and schedule volunteers. Thank you!

Fund Development Highlights

Cabin for CASA 2018

CASA’s Fifth Annual Cabin for CASA Memorial Fundraiser raised over $115,000 to support our affordable housing mission. The event was supported by over 40 local businesses and individuals and honored Lynn Robertson DeMent and Debra King.

Durham Breakfast

In April, CASA held a breakfast fundraiser in Durham. This event raised over $40,000 to help us provide individual property management for our housing, which includes nearly 500 homes.

Planned Giving Program

CASA launched the Forever Home Society, a Planned Giving Program. By joining the Forever Home Society, you can support our mission and make a positive impact on the lives of others — even beyond your lifetime.

Donor List

Thank you to all of our generous donors over this past year. Every contribution helps, and CASA could not have made the impact it has without your support. See our full donor list here.

Partners of the Month

This year, CASA launched a Partner of the Month program to recognize an outstanding supporter each month. Congratulations to our 2018 Partners of the Month: Society Real Estate, Rusty and Nella DeMent, Dan Ryan Builders, and Will Morris.

New Partnership with Raleigh Realtors

CASA launched a pilot program with the REALTOR Foundation of Wake County to help furnish CASA’s apartments. Foundation volunteers decorated CASA tenant Robert’s apartment with furniture purchased from The Green Chair Project. Learn more about Robert’s story here.

Housing Development Highlights

A donation from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Durham helped with renovations to the Maplewood and Underwood Apartments. CASA purchased these 79 units to preserve them as affordable housing and substantially renovated 28 apartments and one office.

In Durham, CASA has been granted land on which to build 16 new apartments by 2021. In Orange County, CASA has secured land for future construction and is seeking funds to move forward with the project. We are actively searching for our next development opportunity in Wake County.