2021-07-01 16:00:00
2021-07-01 07:00:00

Our kids are ready

Give the gift of the unforgettable experience of camp.

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Send a child to camp

By making a gift you can give the unforgettable experience of camp and the opportunity to connect with nature.

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Time's Running Out

There are only a few hours left to help out families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched.

#GivingTuesdayNow is almost over. Only a few hours left to help our families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched up to $50,000 thanks to the generosity of a dedicated group of employees at William Blair and its matching gifts program.

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Your Gift Doubled!

Last chance for your gift to go twice as far!

Support March For Kids

It Begins With You

You can help create a brighter future for Chicago’s children by supporting Mercy Home’s March for Kids this month.

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Frequently Asked Questions

General

Who pays the expenses?

Mercy Home assumes responsibility for all of the following expenses associated with residential care:

– Around-the-clock (24/7) care, 365 days per year
– Operation of two campuses with three eight-hour shifts
– Elementary, secondary, and college education
– Counseling
– Food and other essentials of daily life
– Health care, job readiness, and job placement
– Recreational and extracurricular activities
– Transportation to and from school each day

The price of rebuilding young lives is high, but the costs are relatively low compared to the loss of a child’s future. That is why we steward the trust and faithful support provided to us by donors throughout the country who provide us with nearly all of the funds we need to give kids a second chance.

Because of this generosity, we are able to provide excellent care for children and families on a sliding fee scale so that all families can benefit from the programs at Mercy Home. Cost never prevents someone from receiving services at Mercy Home.

What impact does your work have on the community?

Mercy Home has a proven track record of helping young people grow into self-reliant adults.

– 100% was the graduation rate for Mercy Home’s young people
– 75% of Mercy Home’s youth age 17 and older gained employment experience last year

Youth give back by organizing and participating in service projects throughout the year that benefit the elderly, veterans, children with disabilities, victims of natural disasters, and more.

Mercy Home’s young people go on to college or professional training, and secure gainful work—both with our continued support guidance. For example:

– 91% of our graduating high school seniors matriculated to post-secondary education
– A recent alum was accepted to USC
– A young man was hired as a software engineer by Google

By removing emotional and educational obstacles, and replacing them with the people and support systems each child needs, young people are empowered to break cycles of despair that often plague generations of their families.

Does Mercy Home become the legal guardian of a child?

No. Private families or the Department of Children and Family Services maintain guardianship of the young people who live at Mercy Home. We do not attain or assume guardianship for any reason. In fact our goal is to reunite youth with their families after a successful year at Mercy Home, if at all possible and in a child’s best interests.

However, in certain situations, this reunification is not possible or beneficial for the child. In these delicate circumstances, the resident may continue at Mercy Home.

On average, how long do youth stay at Mercy Home?

We ask that each child commits to at least a year. Since we are a privately funded institution, the young people who come to Mercy Home can stay as long as they continue to benefit from the programs we have to offer.

When is Mercy Home open?

Programs, meals, and residential care are offered every day, 365 days a year.

Is Mercy Home a closed or open campus?

Mercy Home is an open campus, not a lock-down facility. Admission to and continued participation in our program is completely voluntary – in fact, it can only work when a youth commits to change his or her life.

While youth benefit from adhering to the structure that we build into their daily schedules, they travel to school, work after-school and summer jobs, visit friends, take walks, play sports, participate in extra-curricular activities at their schools and back at the Home, and more. In short, they live their lives as typical teens. With the exception of getting to and from school, all other passes off the Mercy Home campus are awarded based on their progress and participation in program.

Do the young people actually live at Mercy Home?

Yes, while we have services that help extended families and former residents, the core of our work since 1887 has been full-time residential care. Kids live in a safe and structured environment on one of two campuses where they are cared for year-round, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Where can I find your annual report?

Our annual reports and other publications can be found here.

The fiscal year for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is from July through June. Our finances are audited by an outside firm and can take some time after the end of the fiscal year before the newest report is published.

What is the age range of the young people in your care?

Residential youth can be as young as 11. While there’s no formal limit on the higher ages, generally we offer services for young people in need up to about 22 years of age, with many younger people continuing to live with us while they attend college. Meanwhile, kids being mentored through our Friends First mentoring program range from 9 – 17.

Can I adopt any of the children in your care?

All of the young people living temporarily at Mercy Home have legal guardians or are over the age of 18. Mercy Home works to bring healing to children in crisis and their families. We give these families the tools they need to make a child’s transition back home, or to independent living, successful in the long term.

If you are interested in learning more about our website’s terms of service you can do so here.

Have a question that wasn’t addressed? Check out some of our other FAQ categories.