Tender Mercies May 21, 2011

22 May

A small group of 3 volunteers associated with Notre Dame Academy’s Outreach and Interact Clubs worked for 2.5 hours on May 21 at Tender Mercies in Cincinnati.  Volunteers assisted with helping to set up a library for a GED program as well as helping to scan and to shred old documents to free up storage space.  Talks have begun for a book drive to assist the fledgling GED program.

Here is some more information about Tender Mercies’ Programs:

Programs

Transitional Housing

The Transitional Housing Program provides housing to residents at 29 West Twelfth Street. The goal of the program is to work intensively with residents so they will stabilize their symptoms of mental illness and acquire the skills, support network, and stability to function independently in their own housing.

Outreach

A recent local study indicates that at least one third of homeless individuals in Cincinnati suffer from mental illness. Individuals who are living on the streets or in shelters often do not know where to go for help. Our Outreach Worker encounters individuals living in parks, cars, abandoned buildings, and other places not meant for human habitation, as well as individuals staying at emergency shelters. We work with these individuals to help them build trusting relationships and to obtain needed housing and mental health services.

Tender Mercies works in partnership with Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBHS) to operate the PATH program (Projects for Assistance in the Transition from Homelessness). This program expands the outreach services for individuals with mental illness, maintaining a presence in shelters, soup kitchens, parks, streets and other places homeless people frequent. Making initial contact and establishing a relationship with an Outreach Worker is often the first step in breaking the cycle of homelessness.

Permanent Housing

Tender Mercies provides permanent housing in five of our six buildings. Permanent Housing offers independent, community based living for as long as the resident needs a home. Residents obtain case management services, health care, payee services, employment services, and psychiatric services from community agencies. Although numerous services are offered, housing is the main service with 24 hour, seven day a week staffing at four buildings. The other two buildings house more independent residents who need less supervision and support.

Resource Coordination

Every Tender Mercies resident is paired with a Community Resource Manager to help the resident navigate the complex network of benefits and entitlements available. Our Community Resource Managers conduct a needs assessment to determine the resident’s current means of support; Community Resource Managers then partner with residents to pursue sources of financial and social support. By providing linkages to governmental assistance and vocational services, we not only help our residents address the financial aspect of recovery from a mental illness, but also help them find meaningful activities for self-fulfillment.

Quick Access Housing

Persons experiencing symptoms of mental illness can sometimes experience housing crises due to multiple factors. Tender Mercies works with local social service agencies to provide 12 beds which can be accessed on the same day a referral is received. Potential residents must be connected to a case management agency in the Hamilton County mental health system and be an adult resident of Hamilton County. This type of housing provides an opportunity to access housing on an emergency basis and gives the resident an opportunity to develop a more permanent housing plan while being provided a temporary home.

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