Meeting Changing Needs

Paula LandFrom the Director’s Desk…

One of our main goals of the Catherine McAuley Center is to ensure that our programming is relevant and sufficient to meet the needs of our clients and the community. To that end, the Transitional Housing and Adult Basic Education programs are continually assessing our services and client needs.

In the education program, we are seeing an increasing number of students who have limited or no literacy in their home language. These students require a higher level of support from staff and tutors. Wendy, our Education Program Manager, is working on effective solutions using technology to supplement one-on-one tutoring strategies.

We continue to see an increase in the number of people wanting to become students. As of this writing, we have 70 people on the waiting list and 32 students who want more time with a tutor. Why so many? Students with limited academic proficiency or no English recognize that in order to integrate into our community and gain financial stability, they need to be able to effectively communicate. They hear about us from family and friends, and just like Monica, who shares her story in this issue, they come to CMC for hope.

To help reduce our waiting list, we have begun offering small group classes for those with similar educational needs. Unfortunately, for every four to five people who come off the waiting list, there is that many and more to replace them. To really meet the existing need, we need volunteers who are willing to become a tutor for one hour a week. Could this be you or someone you know?

Our Transitional Housing program is also experiencing a shift in the needs of our clients. Because of changes in funding priorities at the federal and state level for homeless individuals, our clients come to us with more significant barriers to overcome. To better meet these needs, we have added a part-time Support Services Coordinator who will be available to meet with the residents in the early evenings and weekends to help them build skills, make connections and gain successful employment. Jennifer, our Housing Program Manager, participates in several councils and collaborations that look at the spectrum of services in our community.  Funding changes have resulted in eliminating or shortening program length and creating gaps in service for homeless individuals with serious issues like mental illness and domestic violence.

At CMC we strive to stay abreast of these changes, and recognize how they will affect our clients and identify how we can be a part of comprehensive solutions for our community and those in need of services. Thank you for being part of the solution through your support of CMC.  Paula copy