Support a Program Proven to Change Lives

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Maine has one of the country’s highest number of fatal drug overdoses and a continuing rise in homelessness among women, families and children.  Substance use disorder, poverty and homelessness connect all too often and set the stage for generational barriers to healthy and productive lives. 

Fortunately, for Maine women and mothers in recovery, there is an effective housing and support program with remarkable outcomes.

“McAuley Residence is based on a model of personal growth within a supportive environment, with the expectation that a woman take the steps and give her best effort to realizing her full potential.”

Sister Miriam Therese Callnan, Sister of Mercy, and former executive director of McAuley Residence. 


Program at a Glance

McAuley Residence began in 1988 when the Sisters of Mercy founded the transitional two-year housing program in Portland to serve single women and mothers in need. It has evolved to provide a comprehensive two-generation program for families affected by substance use disorders who have often been impacted by co-occurring mental illness, domestic abuse, and other traumas.
It is the only housing program in Maine for mothers in recovery with a focus on reunification with their children. 

Maine’s only program to offer 2 years of housing, programming, and recovery support, which leads to remarkable outcomes for women who graduate.  
76% remain in active recovery from substance use disorder. 
100% advance their education—earning their GED or a college degree.  

A Foundation of Healing Guided by the Sisters of Mercy

“No work of charity can be more productive of good to society than the careful instruction of women.”
Mother Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy
McAuley Residence is modeled after the work of the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, Mother Catherine McAuley.  In 1827, she founded the House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland to house, education, and train poor homeless women and provide them with the skills and support necessary to improve their lives.

“I don’t think I would have been able to build back the bonds with my children in the way I did if I had not been able to be their mom for three years.” 
Amanda Kurlanski, McAuley Residence Alumnus"

Evidence-Based and Individualized Programs

A successful recovery journey includes four essential pillars--home, health, purpose, and community.  McAuley Residence provides a stable and solid foundation including all of the recovery pillars as well as time—up to two years to complete the program. 

A highly structured three-phased program, McAuley Residence provides a safe and comfortable home, access to nutritious food, and multiple evidenced-based inventions for mothers and children. Women commit to actively engage in their individualized program, which is designed to promote positive, lasting changes to break the cycle of unhealthy dependencies and encourage healthy independence. 

The program has a holistic approach covering all aspects of recovery, including spirituality, parenting, physical and emotional wellness, career and education, financial responsibility, and recreation. Professional staff provide comprehensive individual coaching, psycho-educational and therapeutic groups, and guide community meetings.         

The program offers a variety of opportunities for residents to work in groups, including trauma-informed yoga, wellness, parenting curriculums, weekly community meetings, weekend planning, and smoking cessation. Mothers also attend outpatient therapy, 12 step meetings, and telehealth appointments with community providers.

Help Provide Women a Supportive Pathway to Healthy Lives

For Women in Crisis

Each woman at McAuley Residence commits to actively participate in a personalized program designed with the care and support needed for her recovery. With her children, her fellow residents, and professional staff by her side, she follows a holistic approach to recovery that includes:

  • Parenting and life skills coaching and training
  • Spirituality and emotional wellness
  • Fitness, yoga, and recreation opportunities
  • Nutrition guidance and education
  • Virtual and in-person recovery support meetings
  • Financial literacy education

And Their Children

The individual needs of each McAuley Residence child are accessed and included in therapeutic treatment services as necessary. 

  • Play, speech and occupational therapy
  • Early Head Start and public-school collaboration.
  • Only program in Maine that allows children up to age 10 to reside with their mother.

McAuley Residence Endowment Initiative

“It’s absolutely rewarding when women start seeing potential for themselves and their family and the ability to become a vibrant part of the community. They can’t do that if they are struggling to meet basic needs.” 

Melissa Skahan, vice president of mission integration, Northern Light Mercy Hospital

Your Commitment will Change Lives

Please Help Provide Hope and Support to Women and Children In Need 

McAuley Residence relies completely on private philanthropy to meet the $500,000 annual operating budget necessary to provide vital staffing, coaching, and programming for both the Bangor and Portland programs. In early 2022, a $10 million initiative was launched to establish a permanent endowment to ensure sustained funding. 

We hope you will join us to provide hope and support to women and children who rely on McAuley Residence every day.  The impact of your commitment will not only change lives today but will also create brighter and healthy lives for tomorrow.  All gifts are tax deductible and pledges can be made over ten years.

Thank you

To support the McAuley Residence Endowment initiative, please contact Cynthia Faulkner at 207.879.3487 or