By Dena Collins
Many of the clients we work with come to us with no vision and no hope that their present or future could be any better. They are limited in their skill set. They have lived in very difficult circumstances that haven’t allowed them to see the possibilities of change in their lives. Even for those who can see that change is needed, they lack the resources to do so. This is where Mercy comes in.
The first step is to realize we need help and be willing to seek it. When clients reach out to Mercy, our goal is to ensure that they know we care about their overall well-being, not just coming up with a quick fix that doesn’t offer permanent change. Our call enter agents are trained to respond with compassion to the variety of incoming needs, with recommended resources and referrals that best suit their situation, including our own programs in eviction prevention, power bill assistance and self-sufficiency program.
We are all for meeting a need, but we also want to go deeper to determine the root cause. This allows us to find real solutions that prayerfully help them to reach self-sufficiency.
One of the ways we help others is to provide temporary housing through our 3-6 month Self-Sufficiency Program. It’s very difficult for someone to focus on vision, skills, incentive, resources or an action plan when they don’t even know where they will lay there head down at night. Nothing steals your hope and kills your dreams quite like sleeping in their car, in a hotel, on the street or depending on the couches of others homes. A safe place to call “home” is something every human being should have. We also offer Rapid Re-Housing and Eviction Prevention support for those who just need help getting into housing or maintaining their current housing. So many are only one paycheck or circumstance away from losing the roof over their head. We are blessed through these county-supported programs to be able to help them maintain a roof over their head in their most desperate times of need.
HOPE is the most important component of change. The saying is so true that, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”! You can spin a great vision, offer the best of skills, mountains of incentive, abundance of resources and even lay out the perfect action plan. But if a person has no hope, none of it will matter or mean anything to them. It’s only through the love of Jesus Christ and when we genuinely care for another person that we instill hope in their hearts again. The top priority of Mercy is that EVERY person we encounter feels loved, accepted and respected. We understand that simply loving, caring and serving others with no action, responsibility or accountability to that person is detrimental to their well-being. With the help of our care coaches, our goal is to love, care for and serve others while at the same time training and equipping them to be self-sufficient. Then they too can take the hope and empowerment they have found for themselves to pay it forward and serve others. In this way, we bring hope not only to an individual but also to an entire community and even a nation. Long-lasting, life-changing, world transforming HOPE starts in and through each and every one of us.