A Day in the Life of TJ

A Day in the Life of TJ


[TJ] My name is TJ and I live in Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. This morning Marcella woke me up at six a.m.

TJ, good morning sweetheart. It’s that time.

[TJ] I made my bed, brushed my teeth, and got dressed for school.

Pink flavor, right?

[TJ] I love orange Powerade.

You have yourself a wonderful day, young man.

[TJ] Bye, Marcella. Then I went down for breakfast.

Good morning.

Good morning. All right, see you.

[Woman] Have a great day.

[TJ] Mercy Home helps ensure I get to school by providing me with a CTA card. I really enjoy taking public transportation every day. School days are long, but I am learning a lot and I am really enjoying my junior year. After school, I come back to Mercy and check in with staff. Hey guys.

What’s going on, TJ?

[TJ] Then in program we play miniature basketball. I could play basketball all day. My schedule varies throughout the week. But for the most part, we have a routine that keeps my life consistent. Think you could take me to the gym?

[Man] Yeah, I’ll come with.

[TJ] Dinner wasn’t for another hour and a half so I got some free time to play basketball in the gym. I showed Pete how it was done.

Yeah, that was fun, we should do it again.

[TJ] After basketball, everyone goes to the cafeteria for dinner. I was so hungry.

You good? How’s life?

[TJ] After dinner I got dressed up for my first job interview. It was a internship for The Summer Career Institute.

[Woman] Have you done anything that made you feel like it would help prepare you for an internship? Had any kind of experiences that you feel like could apply to the work here?

Yeah, I’ve worked at Chicago Food Depository before.

[Woman] Oh yeah.

I did a lot of community service. I would say I did around 14 hours. I nailed it. Then we played Uno in program. Then it was time for study in program. Hey Josh.

How you doing?

[TJ] Today my tutor came to help me.

So what could you add for the first part?

[TJ] He comes almost every week. He helps me a lot. We work on math and health class.

Or it could be like, unique to that individual.

Oh. I also have group therapy and individual therapy each week. After homework, we all have chores. There’s a list on the bulletin board in the hallway that tells us what we were assigned to do for that week. I try to make chores fun by dancing in my suit. After chores we went on a community walk to enjoy the fresh air and nice weather. It’s nice to have a group of guys my age to live and talk with.

For real, okay?


Relax, I remember horsing around.

[TJ] Guess what we did after our walk? Played more basketball. I told you I could do this all day everyday. After a few games of pickup, I went back to program. I took a shower, got into my pajamas, and had a snack. Then I hung out with some of the guys in program for a bit before brushing my teeth and heading to bed.

‘Night, TJ. Have a good weekend, okay?

[TJ] You too.

I’ll see you on Sunday.

10 p.m. is the bedtime. I’m ready for this weekend. Thanks for spending your time with me, guys.

What’s a day in the life like at Mercy Home’s West Loop campus? We spent a day with one of our residents, TJ, to find out. Join us as we follow him from the moment he wakes up until he goes to bed! You’ll see him enjoy meals with the other boys, go to school, do his chores, and even have a job interview–and hopefully get an idea of what a day in the life is like for our kids.

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