The non-profit Catherine McAuley Center provides assistance across both Cedar Rapids and Linn County. The main resources from the agency include shelter and transitional housing. The organization will also also provide clients free food and basic needs such as clothing.
The assistance tends to be focused on women, including single moms or the homeless. Clients need to be in need of shelter, treatment for domestic violence, mental health issues, or even alcohol or substance abuse. The non-profit will also provide them the skills, knowledge, and educational success they need for re-entering the workforce after incarceration.
Services from Catherine McAuley Center are also for other low-income men and women in Linn County. The clients need to have limited English language skills and/or education, who are in of educational services or support and in completing the process of becoming US citizens.
Assistance available to clients includes the following. They operate an in-house food and hygiene pantry that is available at no cost to qualified clients. It will be filled with basic, everyday essentials needed by our clients. Some of the items distributed at no charge include meals, non-perishable foods, canned goods, personal care products such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, and feminine hygiene products. There may also be furniture and other items offered.
In order to keep shelves and the pantry stocked, Catherine McAuley Center works in partnership with the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program’s Food Reservoir (HACAPFR). They offer support to people in the Cedar Rapids community.
The Transitional Housing Program offers unaccompanied women from Cedar Rapids over age 18 a safe place to live. The lodging is also offered with guidance, case management and education, with the goal of helping them stabilize their lives.
The women who come to the transitional housing center are highly vulnerable in relation to money, psychological or physical health and social interaction. At the agency, they start the rehousing process by starting to furnish their most immediate needs, such as food, shelter, and/or clothing. Women will also have access to a safe, welcoming, women-centered environment.
The initial 30 days is an assessment done by Catherine McAuley Center staff. This will help address issues related to mental challenges, physical health and substance abuse, if applicable. Once clients are settled into the Transitional Housing Program, the agency will provide individualized, gender-responsive programming to address any and all issues that may have contributed to their homelessness, including family and/or relationship issues; mental or emotional issues; substance abuse; probation, or other contact with the judicial system; and difficulties in maintaining employment. In order to use the low income housing facilities, participation is contingent on meeting several expectations, including the following.
Rent is due from the women. This will include the payment of a weekly housing fee, which is adjusted based on length of stay. One-half of the rent paid by the tenant is placed into an escrow account for the residents to use as they transition into permanent living arrangements.
The guest of the center needs to work in cooperation with THP staff members to develop individualized service plans and identify long and short-term goals. It touches upon employment, applying for public aid, and more. In all cases, attendance at a mandatory weekly educational group, focusing on issues such as healthy relationships, women’s health and nutrition, financial issues, housing needs, and good decision-making.
Clients of Catherine McAuley Center also need to have gainful employment at a minimum of 20 hours per week. During times of unemployment, the non-profit expect our residents to work with staff members on a plan for securing a job in Linn County.
The Adult Basic Education Program is unique to Cedar Rapids. It provides individualized tutoring in gaining or improving English language skills for adult immigrants and refugees; reading, and writing for adults working to pass Iowa’s high school equivalency test (HiSET); basic math and preparation the U.S. Citizenship Interview/Test (Registration is required for group citizenship courses).
Many other groups from Cedar Rapids help in this effort as well, however the main class instruction and tutoring are provided by CMC-trained volunteer tutors, full time teachers and staff members, who guide students through coursework at an individualized level and pace. Additionally, ongoing group courses in math, the social sciences and financial literacy are available.
The location of the Catherine McAuley Center is at 66 4th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403. Telephone number is 319-363-4993.
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