Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has served kids in crisis in Chicago since 1887. Their mission is to save young lives by: promoting a safe, nurturing residential treatment home; AfterCare support for former residents and their families; community-based and site-based youth mentoring; promoting therapeutic, educational, vocational, spiritual and life skill development; and raising public awareness of youth in need.
Mercy Home has a Residential Care Program at the Hay Boys Campus in the West Loop. There is also a campus on the south side, the Walsh Girls Campus in Beverly, where we welcome at-risk youth from neighborhoods across Chicago. Mercy Home also provides mentoring for youth who may not need the level of care provided in a residential setting. And, while they have a dedicated core of volunteers who devote themselves as mentors, they need more!

Here’s how the program works:
Friends First is a one-on-one mentoring program for youth ages 9-17 in the Chicago area. Our mentors give of their time (8-10 hours per month) and take our young people to places like ball games, museums, parks and more. Many of these young people may never have ventured outside of their own neighborhood prior to their involvement with Friends First.

Friends First screens and trains adult volunteers who wish to mentor a child. We provide ongoing support, supervision, and encouragement to matches. Our match support staff helps to foster significant and life-changing friendships.

To learn more, or to refer a youth to Friends First for mentoring, please call Katie Gunter, Mercy Home's Matching Coordinator, at (312) 738-6368.

In addition, they have regular opportunities for individuals to join Mercy Home on staff. Please visit for the latest job postings.

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Office Info

District Office
1016 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607 
(312) 888-9191
(312) 277-3716 FAX

Springfield Office
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706