The purpose of Tender Mercies is to provide housing and supportive services for homeless adults with the histories of severe mental illness. Our permanent supportive housing model addresses the root causes of homelessness, thereby preventing a return to the streets for our region's most vulnerable persons.
In 1985, hundreds of individuals with mental illness were trying to survive on the streets of Over-the-Rhine due to a lack of sufficient support programs. The psychiatric beds in Hamilton County were reduced from 4,000 to 400, with the belief that the patients could live on their own in the community with support programs. leaving these men and women desperate, hungry, and isolated with nowhere to go. Fr. Chris Hall and two other clergymen, Randy La Fond and Edward Slater, knew they must do something. Tender Mercies began with these clergymen helping Betty and Maude, two women released from the hospital with nothing but cab fare to a shelter.
They secured an apartment for them, applied for their Social Security benefits, and helped them get medical treatment. Sadly, within months, one of the women was brutally raped and the other murdered. Determined to prevent this from happening to others, they became the building managers and saved the lives of 12 more women. Over the past 33 years, Tender Mercies has saved the lives of over 2,500 homeless adults with mental illness from a life of barely surviving on the streets - hungry, cold, and alone.
With the support of many compassionate donors and funders, Tender Mercies has grown to six buildings located in Over-the-Rhine. Each year, nearly 200 homeless men and women with mental illness rebuild their lives in their home at Tender Mercies. Some of these individuals have been homeless for years, living on the streets, under bridges and in other places unfit for human habitation. Others were successful business professionals whose mental illness turned their lives upside down.
WHO WE ARE
To be the premier provider of permanent supportive housing for homeless adults with mental illness.
Tender Mercies transforms the lives of homeless adults with mental illness by providing security, dignity, and community in a place they call home.
Tender Mercies provides a home with caring support to adults with mental illness struggling to survive. We make it possible for men and women experiencing the trauma of homelessness with mental illness to recover and rebuild.
Compassion drives us to create Security, Dignity, and Community
We believe in the opportunity to thrive and grow
Transformation inspires us and brings hope and promise
We are Tender Mercies. Making Home Possible Every Day
27 West 12th Street Cincinnati, OH 45202
RACE STREET RESIDENCE
THE 821 FLATS – Coming in 2019