We provide support to community-based programs in Southwestern Pennsylvania sponsored by or associated with the Sisters of Mercy. Our goal is to strengthen the capacity of these programs to increase their effectiveness and sustainability, and to support innovative projects that will enhance their impact on the community. Grants to legacy programs may include:
- General operating support for organizations that demonstrate the capacity to produce outcomes for residents and the community.
- Leadership development and growing the next generation of leaders.
- Strategic planning and program-specific planning to accelerate innovation.
- Limited capital funding for facilities and technology linked to programming and operational improvements.
Stories of Hope
E. is a 47-year-old man who lived in a tent that was located under the Arlington Bridge. During the three years he resided there he witnessed many horrific things, faced many challenges, and experienced many losses. E. was referred to A River To Home Permanent Supportive Housing Program and moved into an available unit in the Hill District. E. has made so many positive advances since his enrollment in A River to Home Permanent Supportive Housing Program. He has obtained short-term employment assignments, applied for social security, and enrolled in a GED program through Goodwill. He began attending weekly mental health counseling sessions within Mercy Behavioral, and he currently attends AA meetings twice per week. Due to his personal experience with being homeless, he has empathy for others who are still facing that obstacle. As a result, he made the personal decision to volunteer his time both at the Winter Shelter and Wellspring Drop-In Center. His goal is to help others and to spread the knowledge that one can rise above their current circumstances. E.’s long-term goal is to obtain his GED so that he can apply for positions in the social service field. The one thing that he is most proud of since obtaining housing is having the opportunity to rebuild his relationship with his niece from whom he had been estranged during his period of homelessness. He enjoys preparing meals for her, playing video games, and spending quality time with her at his home!
D.’s story epitomizes the kind of impact our programming can have on a family. When she first came to us with her two daughters, she could barely make eye contact with her case worker. She had lost her job two years earlier and the ordeal left her homeless and troubled. All of her confidence was gone. She attended many interviews but none resulted in a job. She was struggling to believe in herself, let alone convince others to believe in her.
D.’s persona began to change when she began the Workforce Development Program at Sisters Place. She participated in skill building exercises and mock interviews. Her confidence grew and she gained a new vision and a sense of hope. “I know my worth”, she said with a sweet smile and real confidence.
“I know my worth.”
This past winter D. celebrated her one year anniversary at her place of employment. She just recently received a Section 8 voucher and is looking for her new home now. She and her family are ready to move forward and she will do that with a sense of her own value as a woman, mother, and member of the community. She is able to lift her eyes from the floor and see a future for her family.