Valley Youth House and Mercy School for Special Learning Partner Together to Help Homeless Youth


Allentown, PA (2/22/16) – Valley Youth House’s The Synergy Project received 50 bags of supplies on Ash Wednesday from Mercy School for Special Learning in honor of Catholic Schools Week, which was held the first week in February.  Mercy School for Special Learning students, staff, families, and friends donated two wagons full of supplies for The Synergy Project, a program of Valley Youth House.

The Synergy Project is a street outreach program of Valley Youth House (VYH) designed to assist runaway, homeless, nomadic, and street youth in Allentown age 21 and under.  The program offers survival supplies, peer support, informal counseling, information and referral service and assistance to help youth off of the streets, if desired.  The Synergy Project also will soon offer a mobile drop-in center for youth to shower, receive a hot meal, and find relief from the outdoors.Each year, The Synergy Project helps hundreds of youth and Valley Youth House is grateful to have the support of organizations, like Mercy School for Special Learning, in this endeavor.  The Mercy School for Special Learning’s donation consisted of critical items for homeless youth, including food, clothing, hygiene products, and other supplies.

Based in Allentown, Mercy School For Special Learning is the Lehigh Valley’s only private, nonresidential school for children and adults with for developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.  Advancement Director, Tom Harper, says that students were excited to take part in the donation collection and that the experience will help them realize how important efforts like The Synergy Project – and their own philanthropic endeavors – are to supporting people in need throughout the Lehigh Valley.

“Community engagement is an important part of the overall educational experience at Mercy,” he says. “Students here learn at an early age that it’s important to help those who are less fortunate. By helping people in need through The Synergy Project, our students are able to see firsthand how their generosity and philanthropy have a significant impact in the community.”

Emily Conners, a Development Officer at Valley Youth House says of the donation, “We are so grateful to Mercy School for Special Learning for thinking of VYH and of all the homeless youth that are in need this winter and all year long.   Their donation will be able to assist so many homeless youth in our community.  It has also been a wonderful experience of nonprofits partnering together to make our community a safer, healthier place for all.”

Austin Braun, a student at Mercy School for Special Learning, hands supplies to The Synergy Project Coordinator, Sean Searfass, to put in his Jeep.
Students, Jolie Sessoms, Austin Braun, Tylee Esbensen, Jordan Bamba and Roman Moscato, with the donated supplies for Valley Youth House’s The Synergy Project.

About Valley Youth House

Valley Youth House ( does more than just provide homes for Pennsylvania’s vulnerable, abused and homeless youth. We partner with thousands of individuals each year to build a solid foundation for young people and their families. With dedicated street outreach, housing, counseling, skills training, health, prevention, and intervention services, we empower resilient young people in establishing promising futures.

For more information, please contact:

About Mercy School for Special Learning

Mercy School For Special Learning ( offers three distinct programs: a comprehensive and inclusive pre-K program; a school-age program exclusively for students with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities ages 6-21 who are grouped by age and ability, not by grade level; and a community habilitation program for adults with these disabilities. For more than six decades, Mercy has helped individuals reach their fullest potential through a combination of academics, life skills and community engagement.

For more information, please contact: