During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Mercy Hospice served a total of 163 residents, of these 139 were women and 24 were children. Women at Mercy attend almost daily outpatient substance abuse treatment and support programs in the community and on site. 34 % of Mercy’s residents came to Mercy directly from inpatient substance abuse treatment, and 15 % of residents were a part of the Forensic Intensive Recovery (FIR) program, coming to Mercy with criminal convictions, being deferred from prison or given release.  And 21% came to Mercy through the Access to Recovery (ATR) program.

In addition to working to maintain their recovery, many of the women at Mercy Hospice are struggling with other life issues. 92 % of the women who resided at Mercy last year were in need of mental health treatment, and 42 % of residents had histories of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

One of the primary functions of Mercy Hospice is to assist and support women in their search for permanent housing. In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, there were 112 clients discharged having an average length of stay of 112 days, with 53 % discharged to more independent housing. In 2012-2013, there were 94 clients discharged, having an average length of stay of 93 days, with 48 % of the discharges to more independent housing. In 2012-2013, 10 % of discharges were self discharges, whereas in 2013-2014, 13 % of discharges were self discharges.

In preparation for moving towards independent housing, the case management staff assists the women with obtaining incomes and identification. They also assist with making connections to medical care, mental health care, and with assisting reunification with their children.

At the time of intake 71 % of residents came to Mercy with no income. At discharge that percentage declined to 58 %. Cuts to General Assistance funding have made obtaining an income, even a small income increasingly difficult for Mercy residents. Having proper identification is crucial to accessing housing and many other services for the homeless. Mercy Hospice was able to assist 35 women with obtaining birth certificates, 24 with obtaining social security cards, and 9 with obtaining photo identification. An average of 67 % of women had identification at the time of discharge. An important life skill is accessing and maintaining medical care. 17 of the 112 women discharged last year came to Mercy Hospice with no connection to medical care. Over the course of their stay, 13 were connected to this crucial service. A solid connection to mental health care is vital to residents’ recovery and self-sufficiency. Of the 112 women discharged, 23 were admitted with mental health issues that were not connected to mental health services. By the time of discharge, 20 of the 23 women had mental health services in place. For many women at Mercy Hospice, reunification with their children is a primary goal. This past fiscal year 28 women identified reunification as a goal. Of these 28, 24 women were reunited with their children.

Mercy���s Hospice’s Day Services Program is a vehicle for outreach to women and families living on the streets or in danger of becoming homeless. Day Services are offered for all women, regardless of their situation. Services include a noon meal, access to a telephone, showers, case management services, and clothing. This program enables women to experience respite from the streets while meeting their immediate needs in a dignified, caring, and respectful environment. Last year 11, 485 meals were served to women and children, 6 days a week. Because of recent economic conditions, it is expected that these numbers will increase. No other program in the city provides this array of services to this target population.