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What We Do

The Mercy House is a food pantry and clothes closet facility in the Washington Park community in Montgomery, Alabama, that is open six days a week and serves people in need of emergency food help. 

The facility also has two full bathrooms with showers available for homeless people to use. There are washers and dryers available for families in need to wash and dry their clothes.

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Food pantry

The food pantry has the capacity each week to serve three meals a day to 50 families of five. The Mercy House also serves hot meals six days per week to the elderly, the homeless, and kids that are not in after-school programs.

Every Thanksgiving, over 200 families in Montgomery receive food boxes from us, and every Christmas we provide around 100 families with food boxes for their holiday meals. Hot meals are also served on those days for members of our community that have nowhere else to go.

The food pantry provides non-perishable goods as well as fresh produce.

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The clothes closet is available with the intent to help those people in need of proper attire for job interviews, work, or school attendance.

Supervised Computer & internet access

Computers with wi-fi access and printers are also available for school needs, job searching needs, and online business needs.

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A place to feel safe

In its multifaceted capacities, the Mercy House serves as a safe house within the community and a life re-directing agent as we partner with the following community agencies to help people in need:

  • Family Guidance

  • Parenting Assistance Line (P.A.L)

  • Alabama Coalition on the Aging

  • One Place Justice Center

  • Lighthouse Counseling

  • Motherly Care 

  • C. O. P. E.

  • Job Corps

  • Dress for Success

  • Hope Inspired Ministry

  • Community Action

  • C.O.S.A (Council On Substance Abuse)  

The Mercy House

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How We Got Here

The Mercy House was started as a community ministries project of Common Ground Montgomery to further focus on the holistic transformation of the Washington Park and Gibbs Village communities beyond the scope of CGM’s youth-centric initiatives.

The Mercy House serves as a day house, or a safe house in Washington Park. It is a community resource center where we try to serve as a bridge trying to connect people in need with people desiring to help.

Ken Austin

Ken is the executive director of the Mercy House.

He is the ninth child and seventh son of thirteen, is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and a Murphy High School graduate. He met his future-wife in 1978 at a small country church in Darlington, South Carolina, and they married in 1983. 

Ken served in the United States Air Force for ten years, owned a used car dealership, worked as a registered nurse and EMT, and is the pastor at New Walk of Life Church. 

Ken said when he looks back over his life, he realizes that he and Thomasina have raised their children, owned their own business in West Montgomery, and have lived in this great town of Montgomery for almost 30 years. Ken says, "Yes, God has a sense of humor. He sent me to South Carolina where I later joined the Air Force and thought that I would travel the world; however, God brought me right back to my home state to live, serve, and work in the west side of Montgomery."

obtaining a building

With help from Common Ground Montgomery, a building was acquired at 2412 Council Street in 2016. This would serve as the Mercy House’s location after renovations were made.

grand opening

The Montgomery Chamber of Commerce came out for the grand opening to celebrate the Mercy House becoming its own 501(c)3 non-profit in October 2018.

 Coming Soon

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What’s Next

Renovations are already underway for the next phase, the Pathway House, which is located just a few buildings over from the Mercy House.

We designed the Pathway House to be a multifaceted building that will house programs to meet many of the needs of impoverished people. It will be an adult education center during the week which will include parenting classes, GED classes, financial literacy classes, word-processing and basic computer skills , interviewing techniques, and resume writing.

We will also teach how-to-dress-for-success classes for the work place. The Pathway House will become a tutoring center for children that are not in any other structured program in the community. On Sundays, the Pathway House will be used for Sunday school classrooms for the next door New Walk of Life Church.