Starting a Local C.A.S.A. Group

 Before you start a local C.A.S.A. group you should be sure you are ready to do so, and you may need input from others to determine if you are ready.  Starting a local group can be difficult and discouraging.  Therefore, starting a group to help others can end up triggering you to steal again.  You should contact Terry Shulman, founder of C.A.S.A. and get his input before you begin.  (www.theshulmancenter.com)

As I write this it has been over 6 months since I started my local C.A.S.A. group, and I have had no one attend an actual meeting.  I have decided that I am content knowing that this meeting resource is available to my community.  You must resolve to also be content with making the meetings available, as it may take you months to see your first attendee.

For now I just want to post a few ideas and make some materials available for download.  If you have not done so already, purchase Terry’s book, “Something for Nothing,” and read the chapter on “Starting a Self-help Group” on pages 186-187.  (Read the whole book!!!)

The following is a very basic list of what to do:
1.  Find a place to meet weekly.  Many churches will allow you to hold your meetings in their building.
2.  Create flyers and informational material to let others know about your group.  Specifically you should send letters to criminal defense attorneys, judges, prosecuting attorneys, counselors/therapists and other self-help groups.
3.  You can also notify local public service media like the newspaper, radio and T.V.

NOTE: As I find the most effective ways to make our group known I will update this site.  Please contact me if you find something that is working for you and I will share it on this site.

The following materials are in PDF format and MS Word 2003 giving you the opportunity to edit them and make them apply to your group.
(NOTE: If you cannot edit the material I will do it for you and email the finished product.  Send me all of the details of what you need to CASA@helpforshoplifters.com.)
Instructions for saving: right-mouse click on any of the links below and select “Save Target As.”  That will allow you to save the file directly to your computer.
1.   C.A.S.A. Flyer: PDF  | MS-Word 2003 Doc
2.   C.A.S.A. General Information: PDF | MS-Word 2003 Doc
3.   C.A.S.A. Defense Lawyer Info: PDF | MS-Word 2003 Doc
4.   C.A.S.A. Welcome Info (for actual meeting): PDF | MS-Word 2003 Doc

HELP US WITH AN ARTICLE
I am looking for good articles written by C.A.S.A. members for local news papers.  We can’t just copy others due to copy right issues.  If you have experience in writing article, or if you have written some, please forward them to me and I will post them so others can use them in their respective communities.  Thank you.  CASA@helpforshoplifters.com.