By Jessica Mathews /

A local non-profit that provides help and hope for victims of abuse and survivors has received a special award.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has announced that the LACASA Center has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Richard F. Huegli Award for Program Excellence.

The award identifies a nonprofit that reflects Huegli’s high standards in human services programming and belief in human potential. Huegli, who passed away in 1988, was said to be an integral figure in the region’s human services sector for nearly half a century. He helped to establish the CFSEM and served as the Foundation’s acting director in its first year of existence.

LACASA was chosen as the award recipient for its high-quality service in both abuse prevention and support for abuse victims and survivors. It is also recognized for the strategic, thoughtful expansion of its work that has been sustained over time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, LACASA was said to be among a cohort of domestic violence organizations across the region that received special support from the Foundation as the impact and stress of the pandemic caused increases in the rates of domestic violence.

LACASA President & CEO Bobette Schrandt said they’re deeply honored to receive the award and their staff and board are committed to providing more than 30 comprehensive programs and services at no charge for victims and survivors of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault. LACASA is the only agency of its kind in the state—and one of just a few in the nation—that provides critical services for all victims of abuse under one roof. This year marks the organization’s 40th anniversary and Schrandt said the Program Excellence Award gives them one more reason to celebrate LACASA’s growth and accomplishments over four decades.

The award was presented at the Community Foundation’s annual Board of Directors meeting on June 29th.