10 Hammond Street

Worcester, MA 01610


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What is the Mercy Centre?

Mercy Centre is a program of Catholic Charities located in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Founded by the Sisters of Mercy and Catholic Charities in the 1960’s, the program serves over one hundred adults with developmental disabilities ages eighteen and over in four different programs from the Worcester County extended area. The Adult Services programs have been in existence fifty years.

Our programmatic services are tailored to meet individualized needs and preferences. The emphasis is placed on enriching lives through employment, training, skill building and a full range of activities.  Each program fosters growth in building self-esteem, independence, communication skills and encourages interactions with peers and community members.

The ultimate goal for Mercy Centre and for the people whom it serves is independence realized through meaningful employment and opportunities for people to enrich their lives by developing personal skills, participating in a full range of community activities and developing a network of caring relationships. Supports are based on individual preferences and needs, with an emphasis on self-determination and individual control.

The Four Programs

The Employment Supports Program, Group Supported Employment program, and Community Day Supports program are funded through the Department of Developmental Disabilities. The Day Habilitation Program is funded by MassHealth.

The focus of this program is job skill development, enhancing work opportunities and seeking meaningful employment in the community as valued employees, earning competitive wages with the least restrictive supports necessary to continue employment.

This program provides:
•Individualized on-site training with a fading process to promote independence. 
•Resume and job preparation, assessments and evaluations. 
•Supports and follow-up to obtain and retain community employment. 
•Transportation assistance as needed 
•Skills to earn competitive wages 

Although our goal is independence, monthly follow-ups will continue to establish a relationship between the Employer and the agency to create a successful placement that is on-going. The agency takes great pride providing people with disabilities the skills and supports they need to obtain and retain a competitive job in the community.

The Group Supported Employment Service provides people with disabilities with on-going supports and training by assisting people to identify their skills, interests, and aspirations to help them access future employment opportunities. Individuals have the opportunity to work in an environment that allows interacting with a diverse population and the prospect to create new community relationships.

Group supported employment services are designed for people in the program who need the supports at various supervised work-sites in the community. This program offers valuable work experiences and, based on individual preference and interests, these sites offer on-site training and assistance at local companies in the community. Support in this program is provided by trained staff at each site.

Experienced, trained job coaches provide ongoing support which helps the person to develop social skills required to do their job and gain confidence for future endeavors. Evaluations, survey interests, assessments, and follow-up is all a component of the process.
Currently, the sites available provide the individual with choices that include light housekeeping in a variety of sites, food services, light packaging, and assembly work. All individuals are transported to the sites by staff and all locations serve the public and employs people from the community.

The Community Based Day Supports Services, is an alternative to Employment Supports, this program is designed for individuals who choose to have work take a less important role in their lives.
This program provides supports and opportunities for people to enrich their lives, to develop personal skills and to enjoy a full range of community activities while developing a network of caring relationships. Supports are based on individual preferences with an emphasis on self-determination and individual control. Work, or work related activities, is not the primary focus.

The CBDS Program provide opportunities for personal growth which enhances the participant’s self-esteem, independence, encourages interactions with peers and community members, offers opportunities to develop increased competence in group situations as both members and leaders, and provides individual opportunities to actively solve problems. 

Activities available in CBDS are: 


Exercise, gym activities, basketball and yoga 

Outside activities: walking, bowling, gardening 

Social Activities: 

Arts & Crafts, choir, coffee club, photo club, picnics parties and dances.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL): 

Cooking, baking, shopping, computer training 


Safety, fire evacuation, computer, human rights, DPPC 


Art and Music therapies

Community Activities:

Mercy Centre encourages people to participate in volunteering in their community. Presently, the program offers volunteer opportunities throughout the Worcester community.

The Mercy Centre Day Habilitation Program offers an alternative model for individuals experiencing medically issues or those experiencing significant issues that limit their ability to be engaged in full day work activities. This program is funded by MassHealth.

This program provides recognizes that each individual has their own range of skills and abilities. Program members are provided a variety of activities that stimulate senses, teach functional skills, provide meaningful recreation, and further develop physical abilities.

The Interdisciplinary Day Hab Team, assesses each individual and their needs are identified to develop a service plan with goals. Services provided assist individuals to acquire, maintain or improve communication and social skills. The main emphasis is to foster and promote their development to attain independence, build relationships by focusing on working to achieve their goals. These areas may include: communication, personal care, socialization, safety, community skills and problem solving.

This program provides each person with the following:

• Skills training programs in a supportive, therapeutic setting
• Restorative services as ordered by the individual’s physician 
• Nursing care and assistance in activities of daily living 
• Yoga, Music and Art Therapy 

Individualized case management and nursing, as well as, therapeutic consultative services to individuals who benefit from structured learning and recreations are all components of this program. Consulting services are provided for speech, behavioral, occupational and physical therapies to enhance the individuals’ ability to function independently, relate to others, make choices, and advocate for themselves. Activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, maintaining personal hygiene, and exercising build a foundation for the expansion of opportunities and the growth of self-esteem.

Our Philosophy

We aim to provide quality enhancement of life through meaningful work or volunteerism.

Our commitment is to provide:

  • a safe, positive, caring environment
  • a professional, knowledgeable and focused staff
  • a strong relationship with family members and advocates for our participants
  • the assurance that all participants are provided with opportunities for continuous growth.

Our goal is to promote the rights of each person by providing opportunities and encouragement to:

  • participate in decision making
  • know their rights, responsibilities and be an advocate for themselves.

Contact the Catholic Charities Mercy Centre

If you are interested in learning more about Mercy Centre or in scheduling a tour of our programs, please email or call us at 508-852-7165.

Peg Buzzell, Administrator:  pbuzzell@ccworc.org

Mercy Centre
25 West Chester St.
Worcester, MA 01605
Telephone: 508-852-7165
Fax: 508-453-1908 

Want to know more about the Mercy Centre? Click here to read the Mercy Centre Brochure!