Human Services

Mercy Drops Dream Center


aka Mercy Drops Dream Center

Chesapeake, VA


We are all about finding the Forgotten, helping them build a Foundation, so they can Flourish in life. We do this by building lasting relationships within the community that bring hope alive. We bring hope alive by offering free resources and services to connect people with a need to a community of support that addresses their immediate and long-term needs. We specialize in bringing awareness to those experiencing homelessness, veterans, foster care prevention and under resource neighborhoods, so the community does not forget what they are going through.

Ruling Year


Chief Dream Officer

Joe Friszolowski

Main Address

P.O Box 9416

Chesapeake, VA 23321 USA


Homelessness, Veterans, Low-Income, Poverty, Human Trafficking, and Foster Care





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Mercy Drops Dream Center is all about finding the forgotten, helping them build a foundation so they can flourish in life. The most forgotten in our community are those experiencing homelessness, veterans, under-resourced neighborhoods and those in the foster care system. We reach into the chaos of their lives and help bring out the good because we believe there is good in everyone. We help bring the good out by building lasting relationships within the community that brings hope alive. We find those that are forgotten, connect them to those that have resources in order to build the foundation they need to flourish in life. The foundation we help build is based on 4 cornerstones, those being spiritually, mentally, physically and financially. Through being in community with one another, building lasting relationships and helping to provide the resources individuals need, we believe we are helping to transform an individuals life, so they can flourish.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

1 2 3 4 8 10 11 16 17

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Care Packages


Dream Closet

Produce Hope

Transformation Program- Residential Men's Program

Job Placement Program

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Mercy Drops Dream Center is aiming to accomplish the goal of transforming a city one person at a time. We transform a persons life by finding their need and then meeting that specific need. As we find the needs in the community, we live out what we value most as an organization. We value showing love, giving respect, keeping it simple, as well as be persistent and consistent until the need is filled. We want to show love to everyone, because we believe everyone deserves to be loved. We want to give respect, because in the world today it seems everyone must earn respect before it is given. We believe in keeping it simple, no need to over complicate what it takes to impact someones life. We will be persistent, we will continue to show up in peoples lives until they are flourishing regardless of the difficulty or challenges. Lastly, we will be consistent, we will continue to provide the resources when we are expected and be there when we are needed.

Mercy Drops Dream Centers strategy for achieving our goals is to be in the individuals life in order to build an authentic, lasting relationship that produces change. Once we build an authentic relationship, we are allowed the right to speak into an individuals life. Trust and confidence is everything our strategy is built upon. We build the trust and confidence by showing up on a weekly basis, meeting needs and providing resources for those in need. We work as the middle man to connect those with the resources to those that need the resources to flourish in life.

Mercy Drops Dream Centers capability to meet our goals will be directly related to our volunteers, our community partners, relationships that we are building in the community and our community development. Currently, we have 50 to 100 volunteers that help us go into the community 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year to impact our community, without our volunteers, this organization does not exist. Our community partners, whether companies, organizations, other nonprofits, churches or community groups help us in finding volunteers, resources and funding to allow our programs to operate 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Our capability to build lasting relationships in the community is a huge reason we have the ability to meet our goals. We pride ourselves on taking the time to be authentic. Our community development is another reason we have the capability to meet our goals. Through our private donors, corporate donors, our sponsorship's, gifts in kind and grants, we have been able to grow each and every year that we have been in existence. These are all components that will give us the capability to meet our goals for our organization.

Mercy Drops Dream Center learns about progress through collecting data, by engaging the community through personal surveys and measuring outcomes compared to our baseline assessments for each of our programs and outreaches in the community. We take time every year to measure our successes. Sometimes, progress means cancelling a program or outreach that is not meeting a need in the community. We will also know if we are making progress through the relationships we build within the community with churches, companies, organizations, nonprofits, sponsors, donors, families and individuals in each neighborhood we serve. Another way we measure progress is through our Men's Transformation Program. When the individuals that graduate our programs and become a productive part of society, we know we have made progress. If our outreaches and programs continue to grow and more people are in need of what we are providing, we consider that progress. Overall, when we find a need and then it is filled, that is a win and progress.

Since we have launched the organization in 2010, we have been able to provide -17,426+ care packages to those experiencing homelessness -emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness for 2 years during the summer/fall seasons -given out 3,500+ articles of clothing -given out 450+ pairs of shoes -given out 9,000+ lunches through our partnerships with Mercy Chefs and Chickfila Portsmouth Blvd -given out 106,000+ pounds of groceries through our partnerships with 7-11, Operation Blessing and the community -provided Christmas for over 500+ children over the past 4 years -established Adopt A Block programs in 9 neighborhoods in our community -launched an Adopt A Block site for Veterans -provided transitional housing for 3 homeless families for a total of 3 years -provided transitional housing for 10 men that have been dealing with life controlling issues -provided 10,000+ volunteer hours served -raised over $400,000 to impact our community Covid-19 Update: Since March 2020, we have provided the following: -each week we have given out 5,000 meals for students not receiving meals from school (to date May, 14th, 45,000 meals) -we have grown from 1 to 4 grocery distribution sites and given out 40,000+ pounds of food to our community -we have launched 10 community gardens to fight the hunger in our community -have launched a partnership with Pharrell Williams, World Central Kitchen and Roger Browns to feed 600 hot meals per week to the community -we now have 9 outreaches operating 6 days a week to better serve our community in this time of need

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: paper surveys, focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), case management notes.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: our staff, our board.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: it is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, the people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, it is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time.
What significant change resulted from feedback
We recently revamped one of our programs completely due to the fact that it was not meeting the expectations of our clients nor the expectations of our organization. The program had been in operations for 2 years. After feedback from our clients, our staff, our senior leadership, our Board of Directors and a third party representative, we decided to make the needed adjustments. When we launched the program, we had great intentions and goals but unfortunately, those expectations were not being met and the adjustments were needed. From the feedback from everyone, we were able to revamp and relaunch the program. Already, in the short time it has been relaunched, the program has met some of its goals and expectations.

External Reviews


Mercy Drops Dream Center

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/15/2020


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
Gender Identity
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 05/15/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more


We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.