Mercy Village Update April 2022

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It is again my pleasure to give the Mercy community an update on the progress on Mercy Village. In our last newsletter I discussed how the staff and board came together to refine the mission and use for Mercy Village – to help our clients get to a level of self-sufficiency.  We have decided that the best use of Mercy Village will be to utilize the entire Village for our program clients.  The original self-sufficiency program was designed to be completed in 90-120 days.  Now into our 12th year of helping to get our clients to COMPLETE self-sufficiency, we have recognized that many, if not most, need more time to get back on their feet.  The program will be organized in “tiers”.  Tier 1 will be the entry level for clients as it is now.  As clients progress with the life skills they need to get to total self-sufficiency – employment, financial stability, transportation, spiritual health – they will move up the ladder until they reach Tier 4.  At that level they will be able to move into their own house or apartment.  We hope that we will be able to develop a partnership with Clay Habitat as an additional opportunity for housing Tier 4 graduates.  All the while each tier will be able to provide peer mentoring to those entering Mercy.

As an additional benefit of having the entire Village available, we will have the opportunity to provide additional help for the unaccompanied high school students after they graduate if they decide to attend St. Johns River College, a local vocational school or seek employment.  Again, we are learning that the success of the student self-sufficiency program depends on teaching the life skills necessary for success and that cannot always be accomplished before they graduate from high school.

To date we have received just short of $2 million in donations and commitments.  My prayers are that by the time the next newsletter goes to print, I will be able to announce that we have secured a major level donor.

Please continue to pray with us that God will touch the hearts of other individuals, businesses, and foundations to make our vision a reality.

Dr. Robert Cowie

Chair, Board of Directors

Mercy Support Services

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