An Overview of the Services Offered By Mercy Support Services
In its 6.5 years of service to the Clay County community, Mercy Support Services has continuously grown to meet the needs of people in crisis. While many people are familiar with our Call Center and Self-Sufficiency programs, there are other services we provide that are not as well known.
Here is a brief overview of the diverse programs our staff and volunteers provide.
Resource Referral Call Center
Each month, Clay County families and individuals call in to Mercy Support Services to our care agents who identify the needs of the caller and matches him/her with the appropriate resources. The call center received 1846 calls in 2017, impacting more than 4,500 people. Our care agents take calls from people seeking help in numerous areas, such as; utilities, rent, mortgage, medical needs, food, clothing, evictions, veterans’ assistance, etc. Using our knowledge of available resources in Clay County, callers are referred to community partners for assistance. Callers with more complex needs are referred to our program director for further evaluation. Our care agents make follow up calls ensuring that each caller is helped. The call center has been operational since February 2012.
Early in 2010, after hearing repeated pleas for services for displaced families in Clay County, leaders in Clay County decided to step out in faith to make provision for them. Since that time, Mercy has purchased multiple homes and apartment buildings as part of our program of self-sufficiency. We currently offer a 3-6 month Self-Sufficiency Program which includes supportive housing to qualifed families and individuals.
Due to the stress that a person in crisis is experiencing, Mercy Support Services trains volunteers to be their Care Coaches and to help access resources on their behalf. A trained Mercy Care Coach will oversee their case plan within the Self-Sufficiency program and SHIP program. Our dedicated team of volunteers is committed to the clients’ success.
SHIP – State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) Program
Mercy Support Services has been awarded a multi-year Homeless Stabilization grant from the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program. The three-year contract allows Mercy to provide funds for both rapid rehousing of homeless families & individuals and aid to those who are in imminent danger of eviction. Since this is a reimbursable grant, Mercy provides the funds for program recipients upfront and then is reimbursed by the SHIP program. The program is designed to prevent abuse of the system and involves strict guidelines, for example:
• The Eviction Prevention help is limited to six months of assistance per family.
• Rapid Rehousing funds are capped at $10,000 per household and no more than $900 per month will be paid
to assist families with rent, utilities and deposits.
As would be expected, this aid is only available to those who meet certain risk and income thresholds.
Upon the request of State Rep. Travis Cummings, and Senator Rob Bradley, Recovering Clay was birthed in September 2017 after the deluge of Hurricane Irma. Facing up to 1400 families displaced from their homes in Clay County, Recovering Clay was commissioned to respond to the unmet needs of those directly affected by the disaster. Bringing together resources from Government, non-profit and for-profit organizations, Recovering Clay operates as a project of Mercy Support Services, with similar goals of getting the right help to the people in need in Clay County, FL.