By Jessica Mathews/

LACASA Center is expanding protective initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials say victims and survivors of abuse will continue to have 24-hour access to immediate assistance but LACASA’s administrative offices are closed to the general public until further notice. The locally-based, independent nonprofit employs more than 70 staff members and provides numerous around-the-clock services for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. The size, scope and nature of the agency require unique safety procedures to protect the health and well-being of its shelter residents, clients, volunteers, staff, and the general community. While many client services remain in place, a variety of agency programs have been postponed or cancelled.

Currently, LACASA’s 24-hour shelter facility is the only entry-and-exit access point at the agency. The Crisis Shelter—and the shelter’s Safe Pet Place—remain open for victims of abuse who are seeking immediate shelter for themselves, their children, and their pets. LACASA has rigorous health and safety protocols in place at the shelter, including a comprehensive intake screening process. LACASA’s sexual assault response team continues to provide 24/7 services for victims and survivors of sexual assault. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are on-call to conduct forensic exams and the organization’s 24-hour Helpline is open. Victims, survivors, clients, their families, and members of the public are encouraged to reach out for immediate help, resources, information, and assistance by calling or texting the Helpline. You’ll find that number as well as more information about the status of LACASA’s programs in the attached press release.