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CASA: Community Awareness through Service and Action

CASA: Community Awareness through Service and Action is a program that is offered all year round through MCC Alberta. Its aim is to provide local learning and serving opportunities in Calgary by providing groups with a first hand look at poverty and homelessness.  CASA is available for youth and young adult groups upon request depending on availability and it can last between 1-5 days. Each CASA program is created around the needs of the group. 

Contact Megan to plan your group's CASA!

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How it works

We have partnered with several local agencies who will offer presentations and service opportunities for youth.  MCC works as a facilitator and liaison between the group and our partner agencies, and provides reflection and debriefing time as needed. Each agency offers a different experience based the nature of the services they provide to the community and their availability. CASA is all about flexibility and each visit takes shape differently depending on what we encounter at each agency.

Click here to see the agencies we partner with. 

Cost

Base fee per person: $25 per day (includes cost of in-city travel, agency costs, honorariums for presenters and MCC Operation costs)
Additional costs may arise based on the group's needs and availability of accommodations. These potential costs are

  • Accommodations
  • If staying at the FCJ Christian Life Center, there is a fee for meals
  • Meal at a food court
  • Blackfoot Crossing entrance fee: $8-10 per person
  • Blackfoot Crossing tour fee: $3 per person

Accommodations

MCCA helps to set up accommodations for groups. Depending on availability, CASA groups are hosted in local Calgary churches or schools. These churches provide floor space for sleeping, showers, and kitchen space to prepare meals. Churches let us stay for free with a donation, but are not always available. Alternatively, we arranged for groups to stay at the FCJ Christian Life Centre.

The FCJ Christian Life Centre (http://www.fcjsisters.ca/fcjcentre/)  is occasionally used for CASA groups as well. This is a Retreat and Conference Center in the heart of downtown Calgary. Here, shared and individual rooms are available with beds for sleeping, showers and meals are prepared for the group. Bagged lunches can be requested. This accommodation is in addition to the CASA fee as MCCA is unable to cover this cost. 

Meals

Typically groups prepare their own meals and bagged lunches depending on their accommodations. Food courts are a possibility some days depending on the schedule. If a group wants their meals provided for them, accommodations may be arranged where this is available for additional cost.

Transportation

CASA groups travel around Calgary to their scheduled events on public transit, which involves walking, busing and riding the C-train. This will help connect us to the urban communities we’re learning about and serving with! MCC Staff will meet the group each morning at their accommodations and lead them around navigating the transit system. Transit fees are covered through the daily fee. 

The agencies we partner with

The Alex
provides innovative and effective health and social solutions for Calgarians in need, helping people move from poverty to stability, improve quality of live, strengthen our community, and reduce strain on government services. They operate a Youth Health Centre, providing holistic care for up to 100 youth per day, ages 12-24. The Alex embraces a multi-disciplinary model of health care that is accessible, responsive, nonjudgmental, nondiscriminatory and participatory.

Alpha House
A safe house, rehab, detox, housing and outreach center for those whose lives are affected by alcohol and other drug dependencies. 

Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
An interpretive centre located 1.5 hours from Calgary; provides an unique opportunity for learning more about our Aboriginal neighbours; option to stay overnight in tipis available from June to October

CUPS: Calgary Urban Projects Society
A non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families overcome poverty through compassionate healthcare and social and education services. Programs seek to address the root causes of poverty and achieve lasting solutions. 

Calgary Dream Centre
Christian organization that focuses on men recovering from addiction. Provides supportive housing at the Centre as well as a permanent scattered housing program in the community.

Calgary Interfaith Food Bank
Provides emergency food distribution to individual Calgarians and the agencies that serve them. 

Drop in Centre
The largest centre in North America with many levels of attending to needs. The DI strives to prevent homelessness where possible, offers care and shelter when needed and provide opportunities for people to rehabilitate and rebuild their lives.  

Inn from the Cold
Established by a network of faith-based volunteers in 1997, Inn from the Cold is Calgary's original and largest emergency family shelter, offering programs and supports to homeless families.

Mustard Seed Calgary
Christian organization that works to offer innovative programs and services. Basic services such as shelter spaces, food, health and personalized support, are provided along with employment assistance and housing. 

Street Light: a program of Youth Unlimited
This is a mobile drop-in center that seeks to assist youth in making the best decisions for their lives by building strong friendships and helping in any way possible.
Offers a 'Night on the Streets' opportunity, where groups experience what living downtown is like for one night. 

Slavation Army
An international Christian organization that offers practical assistance for children and families, shelter for those experiencing homelessness and rehabilitation for those who have lost control of their lives to addiction. 

CASA Contact

Megan Enns
meganenns@mccab.org
403-275-6935
toll free 1-888-622-6337