To house, feed and clothe the homeless both physically and spiritually by providing necessities of Life by way of the Word of God, in the name of Jesus Christ. To promote better relations between people of all races and cultures; to aid the sick, the disadvantaged, the homeless, the aged and all in need of spiritual or bodily nourishment; to actively promote, propagate and teach self help.
Executive Director: Bobby Harris, Jr.
Board of Directors: Cecil Cheves, Chairman
Brinkley Pound, Secretary
AV Warren, Chaplin
We announce with profound sorrow the passing of the Director of the House of Mercy, Mrs. Johanne Harris.
September 29, 1948- September 30, 2017
Columbus, GA- Mrs. Johanne P. Key Harris passed away peacefully Saturday at Columbus Hospice at 69 years of age.
A daughter of the late Jeff, Sr. and Fannie Dixson Key, Mrs. Harris was born in Jacksonville, FL and was a 1965 graduate of William M. Raines Senior High School. She obtained an Associate degree in 1967 from Jones Community College in Business Management. Mrs. Harris was retired from AFLAC following 20 years of dedicated service, and was currently the Director at the House of Mercy. Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, CPO (Ret.) Bobby D. Harris, two brothers, Jeff Key, Jr. and Aaron Key, and her mother-in-law, Mrs. Ossie Harris.
Surviving her departure with cherished memories, include: her sons, Bobby D. Harris, Jr. and Troy Hysmith; a daughter, Keisha Harris; four grandchildren, Isaiah W. Harris, Elijah S. Harris, Azaria Hysmith and Carrington Hysmith; a brother, Kenneth Key (Christine); two sisters, Lexine Britt and Maxine Key; in-laws, John D. Harris (Marie), Ethel Russaw (Floyd), Theola Barrow and Bernell O'Neal; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
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Who We Are
The House of Mercy began in 1977 in a storefront on Broadway under the guidance of Ocie Harris , "Mother Harris" to many. Mother Harris was known for saying, "Ain't God good?" In the 1980s the House of Mercy moved to its current location. In 1994 Mother Harris' daughter, Theola Barrow, took over as director until her retirement in 2006. At that time, Elder Bobby Harris, Ocie's son, took over as director until his untimely passing in 2014. Prior to his service as director he was the assistant director and chairman of the board. His wife of 37 years, Johanne' now runs the shelter.
In April the House of Mercy was blessed to obtain a parcel of land adjacent to the current home. This land will be used to provide an urban garden and new handicapped accessible residences for our homeless needing special accommodations.
The House of Mercy provides long-term shelter for about sixty residents. In addition, others in the community can come by the House of Mercy and get clothing and furniture for no charge. Toys are provided for the community at Christmas and a computer lab is available for job searching.