Catalyst Challenge

Turning Vision into Action, One Contribution at a Time

What is the Catalyst Challenge

For 54 years, Lacasa Inc. has been a beacon of community empowerment and social change. Dedicated to fostering stability and growth, Lacasa offers a diverse array of services ranging from affordable housing solutions, community building and engagement to financial literacy programs. Through our comprehensive approach, we aim to uplift individuals and families, promoting self-sufficiency and enhancing the quality of life in the region. With a steadfast commitment to inclusivity and compassion, Lacasa Inc. stands as a cornerstone of support and transformation in Elkhart County.

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our Catalyst Challenge at Lacasa Inc. of Elkhart County! This initiative aims to create a fund that will bolster our ongoing efforts in serving our community, ensuring that no individual or family is left behind. We believe in the power of collective action and the transformative impact it can have on the lives of our friends, families, neighbors and our staff.

–  Jeremy Stutsman, President/CEO

Jeremy Stutsman, President/CEO

Jeremy Stutsman, President/CEO

The Purpose

Empower Our Vision and Sustainability

We are committed to a strong vision and sustainability by embarking on ambitious projects that create a lasting impact on our communities. Our Catalyst Fund ensures the continuity of vital programs and services, safeguarding the well-being of those we serve.

Through strategic planning for sustainable growth, we lay a solid foundation for development, allowing us to navigate challenges with confidence and unwavering dedication. In times of financial strain, the Fund acts as a temporary safety net, covering shortfalls. This financial flexibility enables us to manage resources prudently, avoiding reliance on external borrowing and unnecessary interest payments.

Transparency and accountability are core values; we strive to replace dollars withdrawn from the Fund whenever possible. Our commitment to financial stewardship ensures the sustainability and longevity of our mission-driven work.

Additionally, our agility in responding to strategic opportunities maximizes impact, whether through expanding outreach, addressing community needs, or supporting initiatives like housing, education, and community leadership development. Every contribution directly uplifts our community.

Strengthen Our Partnerships and Ability to Adapt

During times of uncertainty, Lacasa has a long history of partnering with communities in need. In 2008, Lacasa pivoted its resources to respond to the needs of our communities. At the request of the City of Elkhart, Lacasa took over failing projects such as Water Tower Place, Roosevelt Center, 169 State Street, and 516 South Main Street, comprising a total of 107 units and commercial space that we still operate today. Lacasa also shifted its staffing to offer foreclosure counseling. Over a 7-year period starting during the Great Recession, we assisted 1,000 homeowners throughout Elkhart County, preserving assets totaling more than $98 million.

Lacasa partnered with the City of Goshen to renovate and save the Shoots and Hattle buildings in Downtown Goshen. We completed the first major revitalization project on the Goshen Millrace at the Hawks building. Between these projects we created an additional 63 units of affordable housing which helped to spur millions of dollars of additional investment.

During the flood of 2018, the City of Goshen asked Lacasa to run their flood recovery program, assisting residents by inspecting homes, arranging for trusted contractors to complete repairs, and issuing grant dollars to residents provided by the city.

During the 2020 pandemic, Lacasa opened another office in downtown Elkhart to increase our outreach and accessibility. We worked creatively to stay in touch with tenants and continue offering needed education. Seeing additional need, Lacasa created 23 new rental housing units and recommenced work in single-family housing development for homeownership.

How will it be used?

Real Estate Development

Having flexibility to purchase properties and add to our inventory will do things .

Strengthen Brand and Business Model

One of our Organizational goals is go strengthen our brand and business model.  We have plans to update our website that focuses on the end user experience.  We also need to update our donor management system to better track data and combine it with other departments.  Doing this will allow us to analyze our data more effectively across departments.

Asset Management

Maintaining our current assets is always a challenge, however, having the funds to expand our staff is imperative to our mission.  Being able to respond to tenant needs quickly and efficiently is key.  Something something

Strengthen the Team

Lacasa is an employer of choice that values and develops each team member and celebrates their strengths and diversity.  This fund will all us to continue to grow our team, train them properly and something something.

Our Long Term Objectives

Bridge to Sustainability

One of the primary objectives of our Empowerment Fund is to provide a financial bridge, allowing us to cover essential expenses until grant or donation dollars arrive. This ensures that our vital programs and services continue uninterrupted, safeguarding the well-being of those we serve.

Commitment to Replenishment

Transparency and accountability are at the core of our values. We want our supporters to know that we will work to replace dollars withdrawn from the Empowerment Fund whenever possible. Our commitment to financial stewardship ensures the sustainability and longevity of our mission-driven work.

Closing Gaps, Filling Needs

The fund will be strategically utilized to address gaps within projects or purchases. Whether it’s providing essential resources for housing initiatives, educational programs, or working to build new community leaders, every dollar contributed will directly support initiatives that uplift our community.

Sustaining Operations

In times of financial strain, the Empowerment Fund will serve as a safety net, covering shortfalls in the operations budget. However, it’s important to note that this support is temporary, and we always have a plan in place to replace the utilized funds. By leveraging this fund responsibly, we can navigate challenges while maintaining our focus on long-term sustainability.

Why you should invest

Supporting Lacasa Inc Empowerment Fund is not merely an act of charity; it’s an investment in the resilience and prosperity of individuals and families, and by extension, the communities they inhabit. By contributing to this fund, you’re not just helping to meet immediate needs; you’re sowing the seeds for a more sustainable future. Financial empowerment is a cornerstone for individuals and families to thrive, allowing them to break free from cycles of poverty and uncertainty. With the resources from the Empowerment Fund, individuals gain access to crucial tools and opportunities, whether it’s quality affordable housing, building community connections or financial literacy programs, enabling them to build better lives for themselves and their loved ones.

Moreover, the ripple effects of your support extend far beyond individual households. Strengthening individuals ultimately bolsters the vitality of neighborhoods, fostering a sense of community and interconnectedness. As more people gain the means to improve their circumstances, neighborhoods become more vibrant and resilient. Strong communities, in turn, serve as the backbone of society, driving economic growth, social cohesion, and collective well-being. By giving to Lacasa Inc Empowerment Fund, you’re not just transforming lives; you’re contributing to the building blocks of a stronger, more inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.