By Kristin Rover
Grace and Mercy Outreach, a thrift store and food bank in Amelia, has been helping people who are struggling for 13 years.
Rick and Victoria McCarty had a vision for the outreach years ago and now they hoping they can continue to serve people in the community.
The outreach began after Richard McCarty began helping people in need in Cincinnati and had a dream that there was also a need in Clermont County.
“A year later this opened,” McCarty said about the Amelia location. “We are in our 13th year.”
McCarty said they have estimated that they serve roughly 1,200 people each year at the outreach by providing them with food, shelter, clothing and other assistance.
The outreach includes a soup kitchen, a food bank, and a thrift store where residents can find anything from clothing to household items.
McCarty said they also help people find shelter, and would like to expand that service in the future.
McCarty said they feel that if they give people the help they need and some of the tools they need, they will work hard to improve themselves.
Jerry Spurlock is a community member who has used the services at Grace and Mercy Outreach.
“If it weren’t for this place, I don’t know where I would be,” Spurlock said. “It helped me a lot.”
Spurlock said the outreach provides him a place to come and eat. He also helps serve others while he is at the outreach.
“There are a lot of homeless people,” Spurlock said. “This does help out.”
McCarty said many people who they serve at the outreach turn around and serve others.
He said his goal is to give individuals tools they need to improve their lives and let them make the changes.
“Everyone can relate to being left alone,” McCarty said. “Everyone is in the same boat.”
McCarty said they would like to be able to reach everyone who is homeless and struggling in the community.
He said they are reaching out to local businesses, organizations and individuals to help with this mission.
He said it is as simple as getting 400 businesses or individuals to pledge to give $10 a month.
“The challenge is to get pledges on a monthly basis,” McCarty said.
He said it takes money to keep the outreach center open and operating each month. Beyond that, he said the funds enable them to provide more resources and housing options to people in need.
“Money goes directly to the cause,” McCarty said.
For more information about Grace and Mercy Outreach call (513) 753-1555.