Catherine McAuley Center


Aura Cacia's Positive Change Project — funded by your Aura Cacia purchases — helps women seeking change transform their lives. The Positive Change Project gives donations to organizations dedicated to helping women, like the Catherine McAuley Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Catherine McAuley Center

As part of our 2017 Positive Change Project donations, we gave $20,000 to Catherine McAuley Center's Transitional Housing Program, a program specifically designed for women and their unique needs in overcoming poverty and homelessness. The program offers safe housing, basic needs assistance, individualized case management, mental health/substance abuse counseling, and support services to homeless, unaccompanied women over the age of 18. It served 43 women in 2016, housing up to 15 at a time.

The women range in age from 18 to over 65, with an average age of 40. The women served through the program have had diagnoses of mental health or substance abuse disorders, or both, and are usually dealing with severe childhood traumas.

The program provides the women with a supportive community environment to help them achieve stability, regain medical and mental wellness, heal from trauma, and set and work towards individualized goals. All activities, even Catherine McAuley Center's yoga instruction, are trauma-informed — meaning special care is taken to make the practice useful and accessible to women who have experienced past trauma.

The Catherine McAuley Center was founded in 1989 and has grown from serving 15 people in its first year to serving nearly 450 people annually today with a wide variety of programs and services.