‘We help people flourish every day.‘
The story of Casa is a classic tale of ‘from little things, big things grow.’
Casa’s name has its origins as Central Australian Supported Accommodation.
Formed by a small group of Alice Springs citizens in the 1970s, Casa and its parent company, Bindi, were trailblazers in the creation of supported jobs and housing. It was the first in Northern Territory to set up a group home for adults with disability, 40+ years ago.
Community participation was key.
In this, they were way ahead of their time.
In 1970s/80s Australia, it was common for people with disability to be shunned and even removed from society.
Parents of children with disabilities were urged to send their children (who became adults) to live in institutions, far from their families and communities.
The Casa pioneers demanded a new way: equal human rights. People, regardless of ability, should have the same right to work, housing, happiness and social inclusion.
This was a radical concept. To make change, they had to fight unconscious bias, bureaucracy, and work for little or no pay to forge new services from the ground up.
Casa opened Northern Territory’s first group home for adults with disability at 84 Hartley St, Alice Springs in 1980. Its ethos was (and still is) for supported accommodation to be part of the community, not separate from it.
Casa won massive local support in its battle for these basic human rights. Its vision and action changed people’s everyday lives and people’s minds.
With the support of volunteers, Casa gave Central Australian adults with disability access for the first time to supported housing, employment and community activities. Cabinet-making, tourism souvenirs, music, singing, screen printing, a bicycle repair shop, a sheet-metal workshop, dining out, concerts, bush trips, dancing, bowling and baking were just some of the jobs and activities that Bindi and Casa created.
From these grassroots beginnings, Casa has grown into a large professional provider of quality care for adults with disability, with 15 Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses and about 200 employees.
Supported housing remains Casa’s core business.
In recent years, Casa has expanded into day programs of art, cookery, sport and leisure activities; community access/social support; in-home care, and NDIS Plan Management.
70% of Casa’s clientele are First Nations people and culturally appropriate care is a cornerstone of our practice. Casa’s 24/7 workforce is multi-cultural, with staff from South Africa, India, Zimbabwe, Sudan, UK, US, the Philippines, and other countries.
40 years before the NDIS, Casa was championing the equal rights of people with disability:
- The right to engage in meaningful work and activities
- The right to housing
- The right to actively participate in their communities
- The right to reach for their dreams
We still are.