Ongoing Program Services

MERCY Communities offers programs and services for homeless, or at-risk women with children, over the age of eighteen with one or more children. Our services are designed for individuals who are committed to learning the life skills, job skills, and parenting skills necessary to live a self-sufficient life. To participate, families must be ready to take steps toward life transformations through structured, value-based, goal-directed activities.

The goal of all programming is to assist homeless women and their children to achieve stability in their lives by providing them with a stable home and intensive supportive services.

The programming objectives are to:

  • Increase the self-sufficiency of the participants
  • Increase their income
  • Improve their ability to manage money
  • Increase their educational level
  • Increase their job opportunities
  • Improve the stability of their housing
  • Improve their daily living skills
  • Improve their self-esteem
  • Increase their problem solving skills
  • Improve their parenting skills
  • Improve the healthy development of their at-risk young children
  • Increase the number of positive support systems available to the family

Permanent Housing

Permanent affordable housing and supportive services for homeless families with dependent children in which the head of household or a child in the household has to have a disability. The program enables families with severe and persistent issues, such as mental illness, chronic health problems and substance abuse to achieve long term housing stability.

In 2016/2017, MERCY provided 41 moms, 80 boys, and girls with shelter and supportive services through permanent supportive housing.  94% of permanent supportive families maintain their housing for one year or longer.

Transitional Housing

A two-year Transitional Living Program to assist homeless young women and their children to achieve stability in their lives by providing them with a stable home and intensive support services. There is an after-care component to sustain the family’s stay in permanent housing.  96% of transitional families moved into permanent housing upon completion of the program.

Rental Subsidy

MERCY makes decent affordable rental housing and supportive services available to families at 15 to 30% of the median income. We are able to serve four families, at any given time, through this program. Application process for this program is provided through Springfield Housing Authority.

Church and Charitable Partnerships

When a family enters MERCY Communities, they are homeless and generally have few, if any possessions. When they leave MERCY we allow them to keep all of their apartment furnishings, so that they can build upon this foundation. That means every time a family moves out, we need to replace the households furnishings and supplies.

Church partnerships provide outreach ministry whereby a church or other organization can sponsor an apartment by supplying: beds, linens, kitchen items, toiletries, and other items to replenish and prepare for the next family.

We have a wonderful history with this program, including support from St. Joseph Catholic Parish, The Elks, St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Petersburg United Methodist Church, ABC Club, Western Oaks Baptist Church, Third Presbyterian Church, St. Cabrini Church, Chatham United Methodist, Sugar Creek United Methodist, Carlinville United Methodist Church, Newcomers Club of Springfield, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Parkway Christian and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

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Item Donations

Donations may be dropped off on TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS from 8 am - 4:30 p.m. Because of our small staff size, please call ahead at 217-753-1358 to make sure someone is here to accept your donation. We appreciate your support!

Wish List:

  • Monetary contributions
  • Gift cards (grocery, Walmart, Target)
  • Large kitchen trash cans
  • Bathroom towels/wash cloths
  • Kitchen towel sets
  • Wall clocks
  • Silverware
  • Mops, buckets, brooms & dust pans
  • Floor & table lamps
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish washing soap
  • Diapers
  • Household paper products: Kleenex, toilet paper, paper towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Shelving (bookshelves, laundry, etc.)
  • Toddler beds
  • Crib sheets / twin sheets / full sheets
  • Blankets / New bed pillows
  • Mattress covers

We accept these items in almost new or gently used condition:

  • Kitchen tables and full chair sets
  • Coffee tables
  • End tables
  • Metal bed frames 
  • Kitchen carts/microwave carts
  • Clothing dressers—large and small
  • Pots, pans, utensils, dishes
  • Adult, age appropriate (20-40 y.o.) women's clothing
  • Kid's clothing-boys and girls

Items we CANNOT accept:

  • Mattresses/box springs
  • Couches/loveseats/recliners
  • Entertainment centers
  • TVs, computers, electronics
  • Microwaves or kitchen appliances
  • Used pillows
  • Pack-n-plays, carseats, cribs older than 1 year
  • Dirty or damaged Items
  • Luggage