Mer Hooys is dedicated to reaching out to girls from severely disadvantaged lifestyles. Our residential program teaches them the skills needed to lead productive adult lives, and to make positive decisions for themselves and their futures.
Incorporated in December 2008 as a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Mer Hooys opened the Nakashian Children’s Support Center in October 2012 with our first “class” of 15 girls ages 13-15 years old. The two-story renovated building in the suburbs of Yerevan, Armenia, is named in honor of its benefactors, the late John, Arpine and Jack Nakashian. The program operates in partnership with the Mother Church in Etchmiadzin, with the blessings of Holiness KarekinII, Catholicos of All Armenians, and the Western and Eastern Dioceses of the Armenian Church of North America.
Our program is designed to help these girls recognize and develop their talents and skills, and to utilize those assets as they mature into self-sufficiency. As our older girls graduate from our program and either are able to reunite with their families, move into the Mer Hooys Transitional Living program, or are capable of living safely and successfully on their own, we continue to admit new, younger girls from both Yerevan and villages throughout Armenia into our program. Carefully screened by our professional staff, all the girls come from either an orphanage or a seriously socially disadvantaged family currently receiving substantial government or private NGO support, and all are at risk; most have a parent or parents who are financially unable to properly support their families.
Small group living enables our program to deliver the high level of professional services, individual care, and focused attention that are the hallmarks of our success. We accommodate approximately 20-25 girls in residence, with up to 5 additional Transitional Program participants, and our graduates received ongoing educational and psychological support and counseling as needed.