House Mission
& History

Mission

McAuley House is the meal site and house of hospitality of McAuley Ministries. We open our doors at 8am Monday through Friday and welcome guests to join us for a day of food, fellowship, program activities, and much needed social services in a safe and comforting atmosphere.

 

Each day, we provide a self-serve breakfast; a nutritious and nourishing lunch with special ingredients from the Healing Foods Project menu; and a full take-away evening meal following our afternoon enrichment program. All of our guests are served with hospitality, compassion, and dignity in an atmosphere of love and respect. Breakfast is served from 8am to 9:30am; lunch from 11:15am to 1pm; and afternoon program activities are offered from 1:30—3:30pm. McAuley House serves up to 300 people each day.

 

After a daily prayer of thanksgiving, guests are served lunch "restaurant-style," one plate at a time. Our chef prepares lunch with creativity and care, using nourishing ingredients of donated and purchased foods. Volunteers plate the food, serve the meal, pour beverages, and provide a selection of desserts. Volunteers then clean the area and make room for more guests to sit and enjoy their meal.

 

McAuley House also offers a host of support services such as rental assistance, toiletries, clothing, prescription assistance, transportation means, obtaining personal documentation, and referrals to housing and other medical or vocational resources. Guests also are invited to participate in a number of enrichment programs, which provide support, healing and engagement.

 

Guests of McAuley House live on the streets or in shelters, or have housing and struggle to make ends meet. Many were born into poverty and lack educational and other opportunities. Many are also seniors or persons with disabilities who seek the presence of others so they are not alone. Some of our guests struggle with addictions, and suffer from mental illness. Yet all yearn for a sense of belonging, and for the basic human needs of food, shelter and clothing. We serve adult men and women, as well as families with children. During each day, we schedule personal meetings for our guests to connect with our Outreach Workers where they can share their stories and challenges and receive help in a variety of ways.

 

The History of McAuley House

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In the early 1970s, a group of Sisters of Mercy saw the social needs in Providence and envisioned a “McAuley House” to meet them.

 

After years of planning and hard work, McAuley House became a reality in 1975 with Sr. Eileen Murphy serving as the first director. The Sisters rented a house on Gallup Street, aiming to meet the most basic needs of poor women, men and children on the South Side of Providence. Working alongside dedicated volunteers, the Sisters began providing food, clothing and a sense of community in an atmosphere of love and respect.

 

Less than two years later, following the appointment of Sr. Theresa Beaudreau as McAuley House’s second director, the need for a larger house became evident as the numbers of those we serve grew. In June of 1977, a new McAuley House at 163 Niagara Street was purchased, and officially opened in November.

 

Following the opening of the second McAuley House site, the social services component began in earnest. In 1981, Sr. Wilma Miley joined the staff as an outreach worker. She was soon joined by Sr. Joan Rokicki to help people with urgent needs for rental assistance, clothing, and medicine.

 

As the numbers of people in need of a hot meal grew, our staff continued to affirm the sense of community at McAuley House through holiday celebrations on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Memorial Day.

 

Sr. Dolores Crowley, who had begun serving as McAuley House administrator in the late 1980s, left the position to become the executive director of the newly-formed McAuley Ministries, which included the brand new McAuley Village. At this time, Sister Maris Stella Laliberti became McAuley House’s administrator, followed by Sister Ann Welch in 1997. It was also at this time that the McAuley House kitchen underwent an extensive renovation, including the addition of a dishwasher. Prior, staff and volunteers washed every dish, fork and spoon by hand.

 

In 2002, Sr. Sue Lachapelle became the administrator of McAuley House. During her leadership, McAuley House moved from Niagara Street to its current home at 622 Elmwood Avenue, complete with a gleaming, restaurant-quality kitchen. In 2005, the Rev. Mary Margaret Earl was named administrator, followed by Mary Moore assuming the role in 2015.

 

During the past decade, McAuley House has broadened its programming to include enrichment activities for guests, such as an art program, writing workshops, Bible study, a substance abuse support group, and worship services.

 

Today, McAuley House is well known in the community as a house of hospitality and respect. It continues to provide a wide-range of social services and daily program activities that offer fun, creativity, engagement, education, and therapies designed to improve a person’s quality of life. Faithful teams of volunteers, sponsors and donors, and dedicated staff continue to help move the mission, serving the poor and homeless, forward each day.

 

 

McAuley Ministries 622 Elmwood Ave Providence, RI 02907 Tel: 401-941-9013 Fax: 401-941-6862 About Us Our Ministries Giving & Sponsorship News & Events Volunteer Contact Us

McAuley House also offers a host of support services such as rental assistance, toiletries, clothing, prescription assistance, transportation means, obtaining personal documentation, and referrals to housing and other medical or vocational resources. Guests also are invited to participate in a number of enrichment programs, which provide support, healing and engagement.

McAuley Ministries

622 Elmwood Ave

Providence, RI 02907

Tel: 401-941-9013

Fax: 401-941-6862