Cass Severe, BSW is a mother, student, survivor, activist, and change agent living and serving the Newark, NJ community. Cass has a long history of supporting men, women, children and families through social work and case management services. Many consider her an expert in peeling back ‘the layers’ of compulsive behaviors which are often misunderstood by not only the individuals themselves but the agencies and providers who serve them; these behaviors often leading to incarceration. Cass knows firsthand the pain people face after traumatic life experiences and how those experiences can lead to challenging behaviors. Therefore, she has made it her mission and passion to incorporate healing in her social work practice while leveraging a special focus on crime prevention and supporting community members returning home from incarceration (reentry).
Besides through informal community support, this specialized work is done as a speaker for the ‘Faces of Women Imprisoned Speakers Bureau’ with Ladies of Hope Ministries as well as serving as a ‘Beyond the Bars’ fellow at Columbia University Center for Justice (since 2017).
Cass Severe has an extensive work history ranging from managing community-based violence reduction organizations (Newark Community Street Team) to coordinating programs at multi-service substance abuse agencies (Integrity House). In many spaces, she held leadership roles including her current position at Newark Housing Authority.
Organizations which Cass is an active member of is the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition (NAVC), All of Us or None (North Jersey Chapter), Women Who Never Give Up (WWNG), New Jersey Justice Prison Watch (NJPJW) and the People’s Organization for Progress (POP).
Along with hundreds of hours of training on various topics, Cass holds an Associates degree in Human & Social Services from Essex County Community College (2015) and a Bachelors in Social Work (BSW) from Rutgers University (2017). Her Certified Social Worker (CSW) credential is currently pending with the State of New Jersey (2021).
As CEO and Founder of Severe Solutions LLC, Cass Severe is a motivational speaker while also offering behavioral assessments, support groups, case management and family support services to organizations who serve individuals struggling with compulsive behaviors.