ADULT & FAMILY SUPPORT
In everything we do here at the House of Mercy, we know how important it is to foster families and provide support when needed. We conduct outreach into our low-income and under-served neighborhood, informing our residents of what we do and how we can help. Here is a list of past activities.
Presently, we focus on home improvement grants, emergency assistance and referrals.
ESL Home Tutoring
Most of the families we serve are of former refugee or immigrant status, referred to as New Americans. Due to their newly established residence within our country and neighborhood, many of them only know basic English language skills. To assist in their transition to their new homes, we provide English as a Second Language home tutoring for adults and families. Not only does this improve their overall communication skills, it enables them to find better jobs, be able to navigate daily life in America, and help their children with their homework.
Art is a universal concept that breaks down both cultural and language barriers. Knowing this and knowing most of the adults we serve are new to this country, we strive to provide occasional art classes to our residents. These classes are held in collaboration with other neighborhood centers such as the UECDC and art centers such as BLOOM Collaborative. These classes, provided at no charge as most of our families are low-income, encourage creativity and help these New Americans break down their walls and experience more of our city and country.
The House of Mercy Crenshaw Community Garden started several years ago with just a few beds on a plot of land. Today it is thriving with over 25 beds, a fence, shed, water access, and soon a pavilion. Families are able to adopt one of the garden beds at no charge. This gives these families an opportunity to grow and harvest their own produce, something many of them did in their countries of origin. It also gives them an opportunity to grow plants native to their home countries, making them feel a little more at home. Read more about our garden here.
Christmas & Thanksgiving
Every Thanksgiving, the House of Mercy provides all registered families with a complete Thanksgiving meal at no charge. This includes a turkey, rolls, and a pie. Santa's Helpers also distribute handmade wooden toys to all the youth as part of the distribution. At Christmas, we pass out Christmas gifts to every child in our neighborhood. This way all kids can have a gift to open regardless of their family's income. In addition, we distribute winter coats, hats, and gloves to all of our youth. Our winters can get brutally cold and these gifts ensure our students stay warm all year.
Educational & Family Mentor
With the majority of our adults and families having limited English language skills, many times they need assistance in navigating daily activities and correspondences. This includes translating important notices received in the mail regarding health benefits, other state provided benefits, and housing notices. We also provide educational support to our families. This includes ensuring students have everything they need including vaccinations and physicals before school starts. We also provide resources for adult education whether through college or other training.
Driver's Licence & Citizenship
Another way in which we provide assistance to adults and families living in our neighborhood is by helping them along their path to citizenship. One way in which we do this is by assisting our neighborhood residents in acquiring driver's licences. We help them understand the information the DMV needs, and work with them to make sure they understand our driving laws. We also help fill out forms regarding citizenship and ensure that their applications won't be delayed due to missing or incorrect information.