The Need

  • So many people, even those who have it all, are just a paycheck away from the trauma and devastation of homelessness.

  • They're are 1,000 homeless individuals in Hamilton County on any given night.

  • 85% are adults and 45% have a mental illness.

  • Homeless men and women with mental illness use shelters, emergency rooms, and public health services at a higher rate.

  • It costs more than $40,000 per year to keep an individual alive on the streets versus only $47/day at Tender Mercies.

  • The need is constant, with a shortage of 40,000 affordable housing units in our region.


The Solution

The core of Tender Mercies' mission is our permanent housing program, which focuses on rebuilding health, independence, and self-sufficiency for adults experiencing homelessness and mental illness. To address the root causes of homelessness, we provide permanent housing (it is not time limited like a shelter) and support services in 6 buildings in the Over-the-Rhine community of Cincinnati with 24/7 staffing. This program helps the residents improve their quality of life and regain their independence with safe, private housing and support services that foster:

Security - an environment where residents' personal safety is a priority.

Dignity - an environment that allows residents to develop personal, social and economic strengths.

Community - a regular, predictable environment with a sense of belonging, family, and affirmation of individuals.


Our Impact

Since 1985, Tender Mercies has been transforming the lives of homeless adults with mental illness by providing permanent supportive housing that is not only affordable, but also offers security, dignity, and community. Permanent Supportive Housing is a nationally recognized, proven, cost-effective solution for homeless persons experiencing multiple barriers.

In 2018, of the 168 men and women we provided a caring home for, 99% maintained their housing or exited to community-based permanent housing, and 70% maintained or increased their income from all sources. We work hard to help residents obtain jobs. 97% of residents would recommend Tender Mercies to a friend or someone in need. 12 residents moved into permanent housing in the community with the support of our innovative AfterCare and Peer Support services.



Tender Mercies provides a variety of services in addition to safe and affordable housing to make it possible for the residents to rebuild and regain independence.

  • Wellness & Recovery

  • Social & Recreational Experiences

  • GED & Vocational Support

  • Counseling & Workshops

  • Aftercare

Men and women with mental illness come to us after years on the streets, struggling to survive. They need stability, financial security, healthcare, mental health treatment, and the chance to be part of a community that understands. These services provide the opportunity to access government benefits such as food stamps and social security income, psychiatric care, medications, and healthy meals. The community that Tender Mercies provides makes it possible for the residents to learn to trust again, make new friends, participate in fun activities, and reconnect with family and friends they lost touch when they were alone and lost without anywhere to go.