McAuley Village Women’s Leadership Circle: While the Village provides safe, quality housing for homeless families, it’s more than housing. McAuley Village is a family- and independence-building program too.
In order to provide a robust array of support services for women and children, including: resume building, networking, tutoring, parenting and dress-for-success help, we identified the need for a strong base of community support.
A powerful resource to helping the women of McAuley Village is women, particularly those with education and employment skills, helpful connections, and the desire to help others take a step forward.
McAuley staff met with women leaders throughout 2012 to hear their ideas. They also met with women living at the Village to ensure this was something Village residents wanted. The answer was a resounding Yes.
Plans were made to launch the McAuley Village Leadership Circle in the fall of 2012.
Membership is by invitation, and participants/members attend two yearly meetings as well as providing a $250 annual membership contribution. At the meetings, Circle members are apprised of the development of Village programs, as well as larger social issues impacting the families we serve. Members also receive electronic updates about Village events.
Through the year, Circle members have initiated and participated in an array of programs including:
- A Business Fair including resume building, dress for success, and completion of on-line employment applications.
- Book giveaway
- Holiday events including Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Christmas
- Graduation Ceremony for those who have s uccessfully completed the two-year Village program.
Stop & Shop executive Phyllis Gelsomino said her own life has been enriched by being a Circle member.
“It has been a wonderful first year being a member of the Women's Circle and being a part of a team where we all support and help each other to grow and move on to become strong independent women,” she said. “It has not only been a learning experience, but also very rewarding. I am truly blessed for my newly found family."