Meet Bill and Sadie.
Their grandson Eli has come to live with them while his mom gets back on her feet after a recent mental health emergency.
Eli is a bright kid who loves cars. He's been offered a full apprenticeship at a local mechanic shop. But there's one condition: He has to graduate high school.
Bill and Sadie can provide a stable and loving home, but they can barely make ends meet.
They love their grandson and want to support him through this difficult time, but sacrifices will have to be made.
How should they encourage Eli?
Bill and Sadie are excited about Eli's future, so they encourage him to focus on graduating.
But now that he lives further away, he'll need a bus pass. It doesn't seem like much, but with the increased cost of food and other necessities, their finances are pushed to the breaking point. They're going to fall deeper into debt unless Eli gets a job.
Eli could transfer to a closer school, but all of his closest friends are at his current school, and he gets along well with his teachers.
Bill and Sadie worry that severing these connections would make Eli feel even more isolated, and he's already gone through so many big changes.
The pressure on Bill and Sadie is immense.
Reluctantly, Bill and Sadie ask Eli to get a part-time job to help out.
Eli's grades begin to fall, and he is having trouble balancing his work and school demands, further risking his chance to earn his apprenticeship following graduation.
Bill and Sadie are thankful for the help at home, but Eli's overall well-being is suffering. They want to get him some help, but the waitlist for social services is long.
Bill and Sadie do their best for Eli while they wait for social services to call, but they are concerned that he has been spending his little free time with new friends who are not good influences, and he might not make the best decisions.
While waiting for the bus one day, they see an ad for Mercy Home and decide to sit down and talk with Eli.
Together, they make an appointment.
The guidance counselor at Eli's school refers Bill, Sadie, and Eli to Mercy Home.
Relieved from the financial stress, Bill and Sadie will be able to offer Eli the loving support he needs while he lives at Mercy Home. Eli also agrees to enter family counseling with his mother and grandparents to heal their relationships.
With the academic assistance from Mercy Home and the love from his family, Eli will be able to graduate and start his apprenticeship in the fall.
Mercy Home is a lifeline for at-risk youth throughout the many stages of their journey.
But families and caretakers are often in need of support, too.
Mercy Home wants to help keep loving families together.
We support and empower young people to develop their skills, graduate high school, and be active participants in their community, while offering therapy and guidance to families seeking to heal from trauma and repair relationships.
When it comes to nurturing the future of young people and their families in Chicago, we all share a common thread: