MARY'S MERCY CENTER ANSWERS THE CHALLENGES OF THE POOR AND THE HOMELESS
Mary's Mercy Center is a Gospel response to the less fortunate. It is a place where they find compassion and acceptance, regardless of their condition of life, and find services that meet their basic needs. Mary's Mercy Center attempts through its programs to build up and affirm the personal dignity and worth of each person that has been taken from him/her by poverty and the social ills of our times.
Mary's Table provides a hot nutritious meal six days a week, including all holidays except Christmas Day. Meals are served to all who come regardless of their situation and no identification is required. After our guests are seated, volunteers serve them their coffee, ice tea, and/or milk. There are no limits on how many servings or how often they wish or need to eat. Over 8,000 meals are served each month. Our food comes from many different sources: almost all of our meat is donated; some food and all staples are purchased from food banks, stores and large corporations. We share food among our fellow non-profits when there is an over abundance.
St. Martin de Porres Emergency Food Bag Program distributes food bags every Wednesday, except the first Wednesday of the Month. Approximately 1,200 families are helped each month. For those with a facility to cook the bags contain beans, rice, tomato sauce, bread, cereal, fruit, etc. For the homeless and unable to cook the bags contain canned foods, cups of soup, energy bars, peanut butter and jelly, fruit, bread and bottled water. No identification is required to receive assistance.
St. Joseph's Clothes Closet distributes free clothing. Clothing is distributed to women and children on Mondays from 9am to 11am. We usually have a good supply of women's clothing but there is a great need for men's, children's and infant's clothing.
Showers are available for women on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 am to 10:30 am and for men on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 am to 10:30 am. Prior to their shower each person is given clean clothing and a hygiene packet.
Mary's Children Program is an outreach established to help mother/guardians in crisis with infant needs: formula, diapers, blankets, bottles, baby food, shampoo and lotion. This program serves approximately 60 families each month. The items are given free of charge but do require a referral from a social worker, doctor or hospital.
Veronica's Home of Mercy is a long-term Catholic/Christian residential home for adult pregnant women and their children as an alternative living experience to abortion, domestic violence, substance abuse and/or homelessness.
Casa Merced I, Casa Merced II and Casa Merced III are re-entry homes. Once residents of Veronica's Home of Mercy have completed their program successfully, they have the opportunity to advance to these homes. Usually these mothers are pursuing their education and/or working, as well as, looking into some kind of permanent housing of their own.
An Annual Christmas Eve Party is held in December. This outreach has grown into a very large and heartwarming event. Thanks to hundreds of generous donors and organizations we are able to serve over 1,300 children and 600 adults. In addition to a warm holiday meal, Mary's Mercy Center gives each child a new wrapped gift and candy. As a special surprise each child participates in a drawing. If their ticket says "WINNER" they receive a larger gift and if the ticket says "BIKE" they receive a new bike. Adults and older teens receive a "shoebox" with toiletries and some special item, a wallet, cologne, or a scarf for example.
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