Mercy Mission House hires its first director


SIDNEY — Amanda Hilgefort, of Sidney, has been named Director of the Mercy Mission House (MMH). The Shelby County community should be very pleased to know that an extensive search was conducted.

“We interviewed various candidates for the position. I had been praying that God would send the right person to lead this new organization and it was obvious throughout the process that Amanda was that person” said Emily Neu, MMH Board president.

Hilgefort is the first drector to be hired for the Mercy Mission House organization which was recently granted its 501c3 Not-For-Profit status in October 2021. “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending,” C.S. Lewis.

“Since starting my career in public service in 2014 with The Shelby County Jail, under the supervision of Karla Pleiman, jail administrator, I knew I had found my calling from God to help those in need. I strongly believe that everyone deserves a second chance and a helping hand to make the necessary changes to overcome and succeed, said Hilgefort.

The Mercy Mission House’s mission is to provide overnight and short-term emergency shelter to those in need while helping residents move into a new self-sustainable life experience with the aid and support provided by the agency partnerships located on campus. Recognizing the tremendous potential for providing greater services and having a deeper impact on those served, the new agency campus has made it possible for special on-site partnerships to be created with the Alpha Community Center and The Holy Angels Soup Kitchen, both these organizations provide meals to Shelby County residents in need. In addition, the Family Resource Center will have a case manager on site meeting with residents and accessing their needs and referring them to the appropriate services, and Bridges Community Action Partnership is on site assisting with housing needs.

The Mercy Mission House will house 16 men, 12 women, and three families. If needed, there is an additional overflow area that can be used in a variety of ways. Hilgefort shared “all of our residents will be assisted with housing needs, employment, mental health and or recovery as needed. Our program will assist our clients on a case-by-case basis. Ideally the time frame may range from a 30-90 day stay at our shelter.”

In addition to a great career opportunity, Hilgefort shared further why she wanted this position.

“I moved from a correctional setting to helping house the homeless of Shelby County in 2021 with Bridges Community Action Partnership, where I was the homeless housing manager. When Bridges moved out to the new location on campus with The Mercy Mission House my path crossed with Emily Neu, founder and president/development chair of the Mercy Mission House. Emily’s passion and drive to help those in our community quickly became contagious. Emily’s drive stems from volunteering at the Alpha Center and that is where she noticed the dire need for a homeless shelter. In her research she had found that her late grandfather also shared the desire to open a shelter. Unfortunately, his dreams were laid to rest when he passed in 2004.”

As a result of this vision and commitment to meet a great need, the Mercy Mission House is excited to announce that its doors as a warming shelter are now open. Those in need should arrive at the shelter no earlier than 9pm, but no later than 10pm. Individuals will be provided a safe and warm place to sleep and a delicious breakfast in the morning. In addition, it is anticipated that the 24 hour shelter will be open in February for all Shelby County residents.

To those that have already donated to make The Mercy Mission House a reality, the board thanks you for being a part of the Shelby County village. Without their help and generous support this much needed organization and services would not have been possible.

A native of Sidney, Hilgefort graduated from Sidney High School and went on to earn her Associates Degree in Applied Science and Criminal Justice at Edison Community College. Hilgefort is married to Michael Hilgefort and they have two children.

For more information about the Mission Mercy House and how you can get involved as a volunteer or if interested in helping in other ways, call 937-815-1777or visit Mission Mercy House is located at 950 Childrens Home Road Sidney.


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