Monday, September 15, 2008

Let's Get Our Facts Straight

Unfortunately, someone opposing our move to Mercy posted a story on their website from a client who had a poor experience at the Mission. Some of our clients do have poor experiences. We see hundreds of homeless people each year and some have poor experiences for different reasons. We sometimes exchange difficult clients with other shelters only to find that their client does well with us and vice-versa. More often than not, a different setting with different staff and personalities may result in a fit and a positive outcome. The client in the story reports that she stayed at the Mission for one hour, hardly time to properly evaluate services at the Mission. She also reported that all residents at Wayside were forced out in the morning. This information is incorrect; we have had a day shelter for our clients since 1994. We do not force our clients out during the day like some shelters, instead we require our family and women clients to participate in education, including parenting classes, budgeting classes, computer class, rational emotive therapy training, craft classes, a Friday morning support group, Bible studies, as well as, case management and sober living classes. In fact there is a wide range of support groups, educational opportunities, self help classes, and case management which a client will not experience in a one hour stay.

Four Residents are Amazed after a Tour of Mercy

Today, four of our female residents toured the Mercy Academy property. As part of our evaluation of the property we have invited several residents along with staff and volunteers to take a closer look and give us their thoughts. This time we took a camera on the tour to get their reactions. Like most they were amazed at how well it fits our programs. Please take a minute and review their tour and watch for their individual comments at the end.

For more information go to

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Website Launched Today

We just launched our new website regarding the Mercy Campus option. The Mission has been exploring this option for some time and we continue to see this as a viable campus to locate our family and women’s campus. This website will clarify our intentions and dispel myths and fears about homeless families and women. We hope you will take some time and review the information and videos on the site and give us feedback. You can always email me at or Nina at Let's work together to have Mercy For The Homeless – please visit this site often for updates:

Mercy for the Homeless - The Facts

Today I read some material on the internet that referred to our potential move to mercy as a MEGA SHELTER move. THIS IS A STRETCH (to say the least) AND SIMPLY INACCURATE! Wayside plans to move only our family and women’s programs and our child development center. We are agreeable to cap the number of adults at 250 adults, far less than the Mercy student population when Mercy Academy was in operation. We have also agreed not to move our men’s population which was never in consideration. Our target number will be only 200 adults including parents and single women (most of the young families consist of a single mom with one or two preschoolers). We will also operate a state licensed day care center for the children staying at the facility and for preschoolers we transport in from other shelters in the city (the center typically averages about 45 children).

Surely these children will not be a problem since they will be inside in their class rooms and only out to the courtyard to play. In fact, they will be a blessing to the neighborhood. Likewise the women and mothers will be inside and the intake for these folks will be on our Jefferson Street Campus so that they are transported to and from the site. The mothers and children should not increase street traffic, parking problems, or elevate crime in the neighborhood. Our presence in the area should decrease crime and add diversity to the area.

These women and children will not impact the neighborhood in a negative way on this enclosed campus. These women and children need a respite and the Mercy Campus offers such a respite.