The four-county Council Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault (CADA/SA) will merge with a similar organization serving four other counties as of July 1, Julie Schulenberg, sexual assault coordinator, informed the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors this week.
The information was presented during the annual budget request for CADA/SA. A request for $6,300 was made, which is the same request made last year. The organization provides emergency shelter for women and their children leaving abusive situations, support in establishing independent living for these victims of abuse an counseling for abuse victims.
CADA/SA, which serves Buena Vista, Ida and Sac counties as well as Cherokee, is merging with Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA) which serves Clay, Dickinson, Oseceola, and Palo Alto counties, The merged organization will be called CAASA and be headquarter in Spencer.
The only immediate cost saving from the merger cited by Schulengberg would be the eliminate of one director position. Sally Dobson, CADA/SA director is taking a position with the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Schulenberg said that the CADA house in Cherokee, a domestic abuse shelter; will continue to be in operation. CADA also currently operates an office in Storm Lake.
The New Leaf Store in Cherokee will also continue to operate. The New Leaf store sells used furniture and household items. It serves a both a fundraiser and a resource when setting up households as women leave abusive situations.
New Leaf has been successful beyond initial expectations and a New Leaf North will be set up in Spencer.
The CADA House has less use than it had in the past, not because of a reduction of women and children leaving abusive homes, but because the agency more often moves people into independent living rather than emergency housing.
"We provide more help in setting up households than perhaps anywhere in the state," Schulenberg stated.