Learn about all the services we provide here at Mercy Home, from mentoring to tutoring and more.


No matter how independent, everyone has needed help, advice or support at one time in their life. This is why AfterCare was created — to offer continued connection and opportunity for our young people even after they’ve left our full-time care.

AfterCare invites all former residents of Mercy Home and their families with membership in a program that offers ongoing support, encouragement, and resources. It ensures that those who have transitioned from our residential programs can always rely on their extended Mercy Home family to help them succeed far into the future.

In its 38 years, Mercy Home’s AfterCare program has helped former residents flourish

Our program continues to increase the number of support it provides, seeking to provide members with any tools they may need to build successful futures. The supports we offer include:

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Searching for a job
Creating a resume
Employment Workshops


Community Educational Resources
Advocacy in schools


Housing grants
Apartment searches
Community resources
Tenant rights

Financial Literacy

Searching for a job
Creating a resume
Employment Workshops

Social Support

Relationship counseling
Life Skills

Health and Wellbeing

Wellness planning

Passion Plan

Our dedicated care managers work with each member on a “passion plan,” which is designed to break down large life goals into smaller, tangible steps that clearly illustrate each young person’s progress. The AfterCare Philosophy reflects a strengths-based approach that influences every aspect of support that AfterCare provides; those strengths that every AfterCare member possesses can be especially evident once the Strengths Assessment is completed.

The assessment form helps organize the current, ideal, and previous situations across seven domains of life: daily living situation, financial/insurance, vocational/educational, social supports, health, leisure/recreational and spirituality.  From that, together pick out priorities and transform them into specific goals by creating a Passion Plan.  Each Passion Plan is designed to provide a way to break down goals into concrete smaller goals that can be more readily accomplished.


More than 225 former residents, as well as many of their family members and loved ones, remain connected to a supportive, extended Mercy Home family through this program. Continuing our commitment to our kids’ long-term success, we’ve also opened a supportive housing community at 68th and Ridgeland for former residents and their families.


December 21 – Christmas Party

January – Convivio

February/March – Ski Trip

May/June – Transitional Event

July – Picnic with Friends First

September – Chicago Football Classic

October – Six Flags Fright Fest

November – Thanksgiving Dinner

Youth Residential Program

Residential Program

At the core of our services for children since 1887 are our full-time living spaces, also known as youth residential programs. Mercy Home never closes–children live here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

In order to tailor the living experience to the needs of our kids as closely as possible, we operate 14 specialized, therapeutic residential programs under the umbrella of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. Each one of these living spaces provides the safety, structure, and support that children between the ages of 11 – 21 need to grow and thrive. Placement in any one of these programs is based on the age of the child and their emotional and developmental requirements.

Our program provides everything that you would provide for your own kids to ensure that they have a life that is happy and fulfilled.  To this we add special care to help children overcome any abuse and trauma in their pasts.  Our goal is simple: for our young people to make positive life decisions that allow them to realize their potential.

Refer a Child

Do you know a child who is struggling, living in a broken home, or burdened by homelessness or neglect?

Support Mercy Home

Help Mercy Home continue the mission in saving the lives of young boys and girls today.

We provide everything our kids need to grow and thrive

Food, Shelter and Clothing

Mercy Home ensures that the basic needs of all of our kids are met. We provide a warm bed for kids to sleep at night and nutritious, home-cooked meals so that they are able to focus on the day’s tasks without distraction or worry.


Living in constant fear about personal harm can steal a child’s future. At Mercy Home, kids find a safe and supportive environment they need in order to thrive. A place where a child can be a child. Where they can focus on building their futures, free from worry about gangs, violence, or any type of abuse.


Our young people are years behind in school by the time they enter our care.  That’s why a major focus of our work is helping children overcome academic achievement gaps and encouraging success in the classroom.  We focus on the basics: Math and Reading Enrichment.  Daily tutoring helps our kids to catch up in school and to graduate from high school prepared for their next step.


All of our young people receive individual and group therapy at least once a week.  We develop relationships beyond Mercy Home’s doors through family therapy as well.  And we offer young people other types of therapy, ranging from grief groups and pets to music and art therapy and therapeutic yoga.

Therapy sessions focus on helping each child accomplish the goals that he or she has set with the help of care managers as part of our individualized program.

Spiritual Development

A child’s faith can be a powerful force in their healing. We support children who come to us from a variety of faith traditions, by encouraging a deeper exploration of their own spirituality. Throughout the year, spiritual retreats, celebrations, and faith-based learning help our kids develop this critical dimension of their lives.

Community Service

We prepare children to become positive members of the community.  Our children learn important lessons about themselves and about the world around them through meaningful volunteer opportunities.  Our young people have visited nursing homes, stocked a food bank, and written letters to service members overseas.


We offer character-building and culturally-enriching learning opportunities that encourage the personal growth and development of young people.  Recent activities include Cooking, Lacrosse, Spoken Word, Gardening, and Dance.

Vocational and Career Resources

Finding – and keeping – a job gives children more confidence and self-reliance, teaches them to be financially responsible, and gives them skills that they will carry throughout their careers.  Young people have the opportunity to explore different careers through internships at companies that partner with Mercy Home.  We also introduce vocational paths for our youth to gain sustainable employment.

What We Do

Whether living full-time at Mercy Home, receiving continued connection through our AfterCare program, or spending a few hours a month with a positive adult role model, our programs provide young people with many opportunities to develop the tools they need to see and build better futures.

Youth Residential Program

Young people who are a part of Mercy Home’s residential program live in one of 14 residential therapeutic “Homes” that provide structure and support. Read more about our Homes and the resources you help provide for the kids in our care.

AfterCare Program

AfterCare ensures that the kids we help continue to be successful long after they leave Mercy Home. Find out what resources are available for our young men and women.

Friends First Mentoring

Having a mentor allows kids to make a trusted friend, explore their communities, and create a better future. Learn more about the benefits of our mentoring program.

Kids We Serve

Young men and women ages 11-21 come to live in the youth residential program at Mercy Home in pursuit of a different vision for their lives. They seek a way forward from suffering, desperation and poverty. They seek hope, opportunity, and success. In Mercy Home’s care, they are finally able to focus on school, heal from traumas of the past, feel safe and secure in a home, develop self-control, build healthy relationships, lean on others for support, and cultivate responsibility by holding a job. In short, young people come to live with us to realize their full human potential.

The struggles that our young people encounter within their families or their communities are not exclusive to any particular race, geographic region, or economic class. Ranging between 11 and 21 years old, many are middle class and suburban. But most come from troubled inner-city neighborhoods where poverty, violence, gangs and crime are every-day dangers that place extra stresses on families. These stressors can endanger a child’s health and development.

If you are a young person interested in living at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, Please call 312-738-7590.