More than just housing

We Provide More Than Housing

Tender Mercies exists to serve the vulnerable and abandoned. Our residents have lived on the streets while trying to cope with mental illness. We provide a home where individuals can live safely with dignity. We connect residents with all the services they need and give them the tools to return to being a productive  and respected member of the community. Many have neglected their basic medical care while living on the streets or in homeless tent camps. In addition, many of the homeless have been exposed to the elements and disease. By helping our residents tend to basic needs, we provide access to an array of greatly needed physical (medical, vision, nutritional, and dental) and mental health services.

Our in-house supportive services include income and entitlement assistance, start-up welcome packet (linens, hygiene items, etc.), skills assessment and training, crisis intervention, interagency referrals, collaboration with other agencies for services, medication monitoring, pre-vocational services, recreation opportunities, volunteer hot meal program, a resident commissary, and substance abuse education.

Our programs are funded through government grants, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, private foundations, and individual donations.


Click the categories below to learn more about the programs we offer.

Permanent Supportive Housing

Five of our six buildings (134 units total) are dedicated to site-based permanent supportive housing. This program focuses on helping residents increasing their skill levels and/or incomes; achieve residential stability; and obtain greater self determination (i.e., more influence over decisions that affect their lives). Residents may stay in permanent housing as long as they require support in meeting these goals.

Transitional Housing

The goal of this 16 unit program is to work intensively with residents to stabilize their psychiatric symptoms and assist them in acquiring the skills, support network, and stability to transition to permanent housing within 24 months.

Living Skills

The Living Skills Program works with residents who need assistance in meeting activities of daily living due to impairment caused by symptoms of mental illness. This program develops goals with the resident and may include skills training around basic needs of hygeine, nutrition, room maintenance, financial self-sufficiency/money management, public transportation, etc. This program helps build dignity while encouraging residents to engage in a community of peers.

Shelter Plus Care

Shelter Plus Care provides rental assistance that local grantees must match with an equal value of supportive services appropriate to the target population. This program is built on the premise that housing and services need to be connected in order to ensure the stability of housing for certain populations. Tender Mercies maintains 15 Shelter Plus Care subsidies in Harkavy Hall and 15 Shelter Plus Care subsidies in The Dana.

Street Outreach

At least 1/3 of CIncinnati's homeless report symptoms of mental illness. A person living on the street or in a shelter often doesn't know where to go for help. Our outreach workers contact homeless people living in parks, cars, abandoned buildings and shelters, then build their trust and find them the housing or mental health services they require. We work with Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBHS) to operate the PATH Program (Projects for Assistance in the Transition from Homelessness). PATH maintains a presence in parks, soup kitchens, shelters and other places the homeless frequent, making that first step in breaking the cycle of homelessness easier.