The Happiest of Days

Residents at Casa Youth Shelter received a unique surprise back in August. Dozens of chocolate cupcakes, a cluster of colorful balloons, and a bounty of gifts showed up at the shelter in honor of a very special birthday, along with a card:

“Dear Casa Kids,
Today is my daughter’s 17th birthday. She’s not here to have a party, because she died when she was a baby. So I want to celebrate her birthday by using her memory for kindness. I have bought gifts for all of you that I hope you will enjoy and chocolate cupcakes and balloons to make it fun. I want you all to know that you are cared for. I think about all of you and I know that God loves you. I hope you have a fun night.
Love, Kirsten Spreitzer”

Birthdays are an important custom here at Casa Youth Shelter (each resident here is celebrated on their birthday), and Kirsten Spreitzer honored her daughter’s memory in a truly meaningful way. Qualities like wisdom and self-confidence come with age and we commemorate those things for our youth. Residents quickly got to work on hand-crafting thank you cards for Kirsten. When she received the box full of handwritten notes, she sent the following heartwarming email to Robin, our Executive Director:

“Well, my daughter passed away when she was just a baby, 17 years ago, and I have always wanted to do something like this to celebrate her birthday. But money was always so tight for my son and me; I could barely afford our basic needs. When my daughter’s birthday came on Monday, and the idea just hit me suddenly, and I was so excited. I couldn’t wait for the day to end. I got home, made a quick dinner for David and me, and told him what we had to do. We went shopping for the presents, then hit the dollar store for the gift bags and decorations, and we went to Ralph’s to look for a cake. When I saw the chocolate cupcakes with purple butterflies on top, they just spoke to me. I have never felt that before (I had to focus very hard on the present, and not the loss — never thinking about what she would like, what she would say, what she would do, etc.) but when I saw those cupcakes, I knew she would love them. It was really a fun moment for me! And I am so thankful that I have a wonderful job now that allows me to give a little to others!

“I have not cried in the last several years, because I really did finish my grieving, and I feel peace about her passing by now. It was just really special for me to get to bless the Casa kids on her birthday, and I didn’t feel sad, other than feeling sad for the kids who can’t be with their families. Anyway, I was thinking I would probably get an email from you afterward letting me know how the kids enjoyed the gifts. I was so pleasantly surprised when I opened my mail today and saw all those cards. But I barely got a glimpse of one, and I just started sobbing! I was a blubbering mess for a good 30 minutes. The cards from the kids just touched me so deeply. I really wasn’t expecting that, and it was such an emotional experience.

“So, thank you for sending them to me. Please let them know it meant so much to me! I’m so glad I could take them gifts, and I just hope they know that I think about them and pray for them. Thank you!!!”

Kirsten’s altruism is unmatched and is a shining example of the kinds of things that our volunteers and benefactors do to support our residents. We are truly touched and appreciative. She reminds us all that, like Casa Youth Shelter, birthdays are a new start, a fresh beginning, a time to pursue new endeavors with new goals and a chance to move forward with confidence and courage.

Reality Party

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The “Reality” Party aims to promote social change regarding underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, marijuana, prescription drug misuse and other concerns using improvisation and interactive techniques to engage discussion, explore issues, and develop personal and community solutions to these issues.

Parents and other adults engage in a 30-minute tour through a mock “teen drinking party.” Volunteer teenagers will follow a script to act out realistic scenes and powerful events that will depict overindulgent drinking games, the relentless peer pressure to binge drink and other current drinking and drug trends.

Following the tour, a question-and-answer session will be conducted by local law enforcement and drug and alcohol rehabilitation experts, which will really give insight on the reality of the “Reality” party. The goal is to help parents and other influential adults be more aware and really understand the group culture of teen drinking parties and the very real pressures.


All tour participants MUST be registered individually.

Registrant will be contacted within one (1) week of event with address of exact location. In order to preserve the privacy of the homeowners, we must respectfully keep the location undisclosed.

2:00 – 3:00 PM
2:45 – 3:45 PM
3:30 – 4:30 PM
4:15 – 5:15 PM
5:00 – 6:00 PM
5:45 – 6:45 PM

The “Reality” Party is made possible with help from our partners:

Straight Up

Friday Night Live

A Night On the Town 2016


FEBRUARY 27, 2016

The Westin South Coast Plaza
Cocktails and Social Hour 4:30 PM
Dinner 5:30 PM

Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Curtain Call 7:30 PM

We invite you to be a part of Casa Youth Shelters signature event A Night On the Town, prominently featuring the Tony and Grammy Award winning Broadway hit WICKED. This year’s Chairperson is Mr. John Amador, Senior Risk Manager of U.S. Bank. The evening will commence with a lovely dinner reception at the Westin South Coast Plaza followed by a short stroll to Segerstrom Center for the Arts for the performance. 

WICKED is the untold story of the witches of Oz. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.






US Bank

Phil & Sandy McElroy

Frome Family Foundation

Browse the links below for more information on our 2016 “A Night On the Town.”

Corporate Giving

Our corporate partners support our mission in the following ways:

Event Sponsorship and Underwriting Opportunities

Companies can sponsor one of our fundraising events such as our Annual Commander’s Ball. Proper recognition will be given according to the sponsorship level and can include benefits as acknowledgement on event materials, media coverage and Casa Youth Shelter’s website.

Matching Gifts and Employee Giving Programs

Companies that generously match gifts help their employees double the impact of their donations when making cash contributions to Casa Youth Shelter.

Volunteer Projects and Drives

Volunteer projects make great team-building activities. Employees can take part in volunteer projects such as home restoration, appliance and electronics donations, pro bono services, and holiday gift opportunities. Companies can also make group efforts by hosting drives to collect food, gifts, clothing, etc.

Please contact Christina Garcia, at 562-594-3825 ext. 230 or at for dates of our volunteer orientations.

Corporate Events

Casa Youth Shelter appreciates corporate events put on by businesses that consider benefitting Casa Youth Shelter such as golf tournaments, poker tournaments or other company fundraisers.

Cause-Related Marketing

Statistics indicate that 80% of consumers would buy a product tied to a cause when choosing between two similar items. Companies can show their impact on youth and their communities by partnering with Casa Youth Shelter in a cause-related marketing campaign.

Grant Funding

Businesses with grant programs or foundations can refer Casa Youth Shelter for funding and/or provide advice regarding application procedures.

Please contact Jennifer Frank, Grant Manager, at 562-594-6825 ext. 243 or at to assist with this process.

Tributes and Honors

Business may choose to donate to Casa Youth Shelter in lieu of traditional giving to clients, vendors and employees. Casa Youth Shelter will send an acknowledgement card to let the person know that they have made an impact on youth in-crisis and their community.

Board of Directors and Board of Trustee Service

Casa Youth Shelter’s Board of Directors and Board of Trustees includes many executive-level community leaders who serve as ambassadors to the mission of helping youth.

For more information on how to get involved with Casa Youth Shelter, please contact Robin Sinclair, Executive Director, at (562) 594-6825 ext. 229 or via email at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) — Parents

Questions and Answers for Parents or Legal Gaurdians

Q: How can I talk my youth into accepting the program?
A: Suggest that your youth come and take a tour of Casa Youth Shelter. Have him or her talk to a staff member. Refer your youth to other parts of this website for more information.

Q: What kinds of fees are involved?
A: We have reasonable sliding scale fees for our highly professional services based on gross household income and the number of people living in the home. However, we have never turned away any youth in need due to lack of financial resources. Please discuss payment for services with the youth‘s assigned counselor.

Q: Whom are you licensed by?
A: We are licensed by the California State Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing.

Q: What are your counselors’ qualifications?
A: Casa Youth Shelter has licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, licensed clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapy interns and graduates working on their Masters degrees.

Q: Can friends of our family visit our child and take him/her off the premises?
A: Only with permission of the counselor and parent(s)/legal guardian(s).

Q: Will my youth attend school while at Casa Youth Shelter?
A: While at Casa Youth Shelter, your youth will receive educational services from staff who are certified by the Orange County Department of Education. Parent(s)/legal guardian(s) are encouraged to bring homework and school assignments.

Q: What if my child needs medication?
A: Accompanied by a prescription from a physician, staff at Casa Youth Shelter will
administer necessary medication to your child. All medication, including over-the-counter must be prescribed by a Doctor.