Changes in Service Delivery at Catherine McAuley Center Helps Individuals Overcome Barriers

Published: March 2, 2014 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:

Mathew and Tutor WebThe Catherine McAuley Center helps individuals transform their lives through adult education and transitional housing.


To do this effectively, the staff at the Center provide support through a case management model to help individuals gain stability and self-sufficiency, and become more connected and engaged with resources in the community.


Staff members had some ideas to improve the way they were delivering services and were awarded a grant from the Community Foundation to put those ideas into action.  The grant allowed Center staff to increase their one-on-one case management time with students and residents as well as build stronger relationships with referring agencies.


To accomplish this, the Center’s immigrant and refugee coordinator in the Adult Basic Education program engaged participants of a local group of agencies called the Immigrant Concerns Group. This resulted in an increase in participation from this group from 24 agencies in 2011 to 38 in 2013.  This has provided a strong, collaborative support network for helping immigrants in our community.


Mathew, a refugee from Burundi, is one of those who has benefitted from these changes. In his four years at the Center, he has learned English, studied for and achieved his citizenship, and found work.  The support from classes and other services has helped him overcome barriers and succeed.


In the Center’s Transitional Housing program, the grant has helped staff members spend more one-on-one time with residents to better address their complex needs. They also established a new Aftercare program that encourages former residents to stay connected, and provides support to keep them on track and stable.


Both the Education and Housing programs have exceeded expectations.  Clients now receive higher quality, comprehensive guidance, support and referrals as they stabilize their lives.

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