In Memoriam

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls said a sorrowful goodbye this week to a beloved member of our family. Since 2005, Faye Austin welcomed coworkers, volunteers, our young women and their families, and visitors to our Walsh Campus for Girls. Faye was called home to God on July 3, 2018. In her memory, we are reposting a profile that appeared on our blog back in 2011.

Faye A. is one of the first staff members to welcome new residents when they move into Mercy Home.  She is the evening receptionist at Mercy Home’s Girls Campus, and as Katie R.—Career Resources Coordinator—puts it, “she is the heart of the Girls Campus.”

For six years, Faye has been at the front desk, overseeing the Walsh Campus lobby, from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m.   Mercy Home serves its boys and girls 24 hours a day and Faye is part of the dedicated nighttime staff that helps provide support, comfort and security round the clock.

Faye’s job title does little to convey the relationships she has built with Mercy Home’s girls.  Not only does she interact with them daily, she sees many formative moments during their stays.  With three daughters of her own, Faye has become a mother figure to the campus: “Everybody has a part in the girls’ lives,” she explains.

Some nights, girls sit by Faye’s desk when they want to talk or relax.  Faye, who “can’t help but empathize with them,” is part of the nurturing environment Mercy Home creates for its youth.  Faye believes working at the Home has helped her with her own daughters: “I’ve learned patience, how to listen and being aware.”  Faye has also formed deep and lasting relationships with her Girls Campus coworkers and takes great care to support them in any way she can.

The most rewarding part of Faye’s experience has been watching the girls mature as they progress through Mercy Home’s programs.  Faye can always see the changes: “the longer they’ve been here, the more open they are,” she says.  She especially loves watching the girls take prom photos, getting ready for job interviews and going off to college.  In Faye’s eyes, they are “just growing.”

Faye also works closely with two groups of tutors she welcomes and helps organize four nights each week.  Her relationship with these volunteers has been instrumental to the success of Mercy Home’s tutoring program: as Katie says, “Part of the reason we have such a dedicated and veteran tutoring corps is because they have that connection with Faye.”  Faye always enjoys meeting the tutors and can easily confirm her impact: “There’s not one that I haven’t had a conversation with.”

When Faye started working at the Girls Campus, she may not have guessed she would come to mean so much to its staff, girls or volunteers.  But she provides a welcoming and caring presence and feels rewarded knowing she is doing something positive.  To her, “Mercy Home is a place where you really know you’ve had a part.”  After six years, Faye is not at all surprised she is still with Mercy Home.  She shrugs and says, “I love it here.  I think Mercy Home is just wonderful.”

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