Photo Credit: Olga Lopez
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McAuley Institute is a national, nonprofit housing organization founded by the Sisters of Mercy. McAuley provides state-of-the-art technical assistance and financial resources to grassroots organizations that work to expand housing and economic opportunities for low-income women and their families.

McAuley is staffed by experienced community development professionals. Nearly all of the initiatives McAuley supports involve multiple partners - including churches and other faith-based congregations, community-based groups, banks and corporations, government agencies, universities, hospitals and civic associations.

Over the past 15 years, McAuley has worked with more than 2,100 groups and loaned over $12.3 million at below-market interest rates. These funds have leveraged over $103 million of total development in low-income neighborhoods. Loans and technical assistance from McAuley have helped to create more than 4,300 units of affordable housing in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Catherine McAuley's Legacy

Using proceeds from the sale of their home in Potomac, MD, the Sisters of Mercy established the McAuley Institute in 1983. They named the McAuley Institute after their founder, Catherine McAuley, whose vibrant legacy is reflected throughout the Institute's work.

Born in the late 1700s and raised by a wealthy family living near Dublin, Ireland, Catherine grew up in an era of intense political division. Penal laws denied scores of people the freedom to pursue jobs, education, religious choice, land ownership and citizenship. Catholics, especially, led lives of poverty and exclusion. Moved by her own sense of faith and justice, Catherine dedicated herself to the plight of the poor. She established a home on Dublin's fashionable Baggot Street as a refuge for destitute women, providing education, training and shelter.

Out of her commitment to meeting the spiritual, educational and economic needs of these women and their children, an international religious order was born. Catherine took her vows as the first Sister of Mercy in 1831. Today, the order has a global membership, with ministries across the United States and in 21 other countries.

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Who McAuley Serves

Photo Credit: Joel SalcidoThousands of community-based organizations across the country are rebuilding and revitalizing low income communities. Several national organizations, like McAuley, provide critical support. McAuley, however, occupies a special niche:

  • McAuley is the only national community development intermediary that is rooted in Catholic social justice teaching. McAuley grounds its work in the conviction that every person has a right to decent and affordable housing and to live equitably with justice.

  • McAuley is the only organization that intentionally focuses on the housing needs of low-income women and their families. Women are the fastest growing segment of the homeless and ill-housed in America, and nearly half of all women-headed households live below the poverty line. Seventy-five percent of McAuley's loan dollars and staff resources support initiatives led by or serving women.

  • McAuley targets less experienced organizations. We are often the first intermediary organization to provide financing or technical assistance, while more mainstream financial institutions and support networks wait until the groups establish credibility and a track record.

  • McAuley undertakes much of its work in areas where the community development infrastructure tends to be less well developed. This can include small cities, rural communities and underserved urban areas.

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How McAuley Helps

  • Housing and Community Development. Many of the community-based groups which McAuley assists are working on their first housing project. McAuley provides technical assistance to guide them through all stages of development, from planning to production. We also help young organizations develop their boards, staff resources and funding networks and, for more experienced groups, assist with strategic planning and project development. A Revolving Loan Fund enables nonprofit developers to acquire, construct or rehabilitate affordable housing. The loan fund staff includes experienced loan officers who see each project through to completion - from loan inquiry and review to closing.

  • Policy and Research. McAuley brings a strong voice to the policy debates on housing and a wide range of issues affecting low income communities - from welfare reform to health care. McAuley participates in and leads advocacy and education campaigns designed to bring about systemic change. McAuley also focuses on research and evaluation of the issues and programs affecting low-income women and women leaders and applies lessons learned to develop effective community building programs. Bi-monthly action alerts and other materials distributed by McAuley help local groups advocate more effectively for more affordable housing and positive change.

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McAuley Institute Staff
JoAnn Kane
Executive Director

Susan Rees
Policy and Research Director

Makeda S. Harris
Program Assistant

Heather Burns
Program Associate
Richelle Friedman, PBVM
Senior Policy Associate
Maggie Grieve
Policy & Research Manager
Keven Vance
Project Associate
Nancy Bernstine
Senior Policy Associate


Fred Gervasi
Housing & Community Development Director
Loan Fund Officers

Megan Teare
Loan Fund Associate

Angela Narain
Loan Fund Associate
Philip Hoffart
Loan Fund Associate
Tanya Winters
RLF Portfolio Program Assistant

Technical Assistance Providers
Eileen Paul
Senior Housing Development Associate
Michelle Bass
Housing Development Associate
Homeownership Initiative

Jeanne Reitz
Homeownership Program Associate

Regional Network Center-Houston, TX
Kathy Tyler
Regional Program Manager
Adrienne Holloway
Regional Program Associate
Rebecca Mathis
Regional Program Associate
Carole Watson
Administrative Services Director

Tarwea Duckett
Office Assistant

Elaine Stein
Executive Assistant
Rhoda Stauffer
Outreach & Public Relations Manager
Karen Stults
Sr. Development Associate
Kim Allen
Development Associate

McAuley Institute Board of Trustees

McAuley is governed by a 14-member Board of Trustees which brings a diversity of experience and culture to the Institute. The Board works actively through quarterly meetings and committee meetings to set direction and policy and review McAuley's progress. Board members are chosen to provide a wide range of expertise in housing, finance, nonprofit management and public policy.

Sue Perry Cole
NC Dept. of Commerce
Raleigh, NC
Susan O'Connor, RSM
Sister of Mercy Regional Community of Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Pat Griffith, RSM
Mercy Haven, Inc.
Islip Terrace, NY
Kevina Keating, CCVI
Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Houston, TX
JoAnn Kane
McAuley Institute
Silver Spring, MD
Moises Loza
Housing Assistance Council
Washington, DC
Dr. Jack Lanier
VA Common Wealth University
Richmond, VA
David Parish
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston
Boston, MA
Kathleen Popko
Catholic Health East
Springfield, MA
Margaret Reese
Unity for Homeless
New Orleans, LA
Kent Russell
Catholic Health East
Radnor, PA
Gretchen Lara Shartle
Austin, TX
Rose Weidenbenner, RSM
New Orleans, LA
Anne Townsend
Public Welfare Foundation
Washington, DC
Debra Singletary
Delmarva Rural Ministries, Inc.
Dover, DE

McAuley Committee Members

Lucille Bonvouloir, RSM
Burlington, VT
Betty Carey
Strategic Partners, Inc.
Potomac, MD
Gwen Davidson
Alex Brown and Sons
Baltimore, MD
Lincoln Dring
Community Ministry of Montgomery County
Rockville, MD
Amalia Rios, CSC
Holy Cross Convent
Garrett Park, MD
Susan Thaler
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Silver Spring, MD
Mindy Turbov
Chicago, IL

Artwork from McAuley's Homepage

To see more original artwork from Sr. Mary Bertoli's "Spirit of Mississippi" Collection, contact:

Mary Bertoli, SNJM
P.O. Box 562
Tutwiler, MS 38963
(601) 375-8929

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