Artisan soap on a justice mission


In the Fall of 2020 we launched Mercy Street Soap Company, a social enterprise that allows us to create employment opportunities for those coming out of incarceration to learn the craft of making artisan soaps and other fine all-natural products.


Mercy Street Soap Company allows for a diverse variety of opportunities from creation to completion. From production and packaging to marketing, sales and management oversight, this business enables us to provide much needed support and opportunities for people coming out of incarceration. We will offer employment and career opportunities with the potential to expand and multiply over time.


In addition to offering training, jobs and even career opportunities, the revenue generated from this business will go to support all of our ministry to the incarcerated. We know that a social enterprise is an important step towards helping those we serve become stable and self-supporting and also allows for us to develop and expand our current ministries.


Real soap is created by simply mixing water and lye together with fat and or oils until they become saponified. Saponification is the chemical reaction that results by mixing the water and lye with oils and fats, which when blended together creates the little miracle that is soap.


Although we know that soap cleanses and disinfects, we don’t often stop to think about how it does. When we lather up, the soap goes to work. Soap molecules are long, with a balloon end which is hydrophilic, or attracted to water on one side and hydrophobic, or water resistant on the other side. The hydrophobic side draws in the dirt and germs which are oil based, and surrounds them, creating what is known as micelles. These micelles lift the dirt and germs up and off the surface being washed and are then rinsed away with water. One of the miraculous aspects of soap is its ability to surround and literally break up and kill not only dirt but also germs, bacteria and viruses, including coronaviruses, which are then washed away with a good rinse.


Hand-crafted soap is quickly becoming a lost art. Mass-produced commercial cleansing products have taken its place in the last century and what we have been sold to believe is ‘soap’ is actually synthetically-produced fragranced detergent. Detergents can clean and work in a similar fashion to soap, but they are produced with synthetic chemicals that can often be harmful to our bodies and to the environment in both their development and use. Now more than ever it is important to be mindful of combating dirt and germs with materials that are sustainably sourced.


In addition to creating pure, artisan products, Mercy Street Soap Company offers training and trade skills to men and women who are coming out of incarceration. Our goal is to provide a discipleship pathway as well as to restore and revive the tradition and practicality of handcrafted soaps. These products will not only be available on our website for your everyday use to combat the spread of germs, but they will also be available to order as beautifully packaged gifts for friends and loved ones.

Dear friends, thank you for checking out our Mercy Street Soap Page! We are in process of opening our online store which we anticipate will be up and running by early 2021!  Stay tuned for more information.

If you would like more information please feel free to email us at


In 2012, our founder Sheila Donegan moved from L.A. to Boston and launched Boston Dream Center, a ministry to those most in need in the city of Boston. For 6+ years, we served and ministered to thousands of people through ministry and outreach in Boston. In 2019, our mission became more focused and we aligned all of our ministries to serve those directly affected by incarceration. In 2020, we transitioned our Boston jail ministry to the men who had served inside the jail with us for the previous 5 years and who are leading it into the next season. Sheila Donegan relocated back to Los Angeles and launched Mercy Street to minister to L.A. County jail, the largest jail in the country. 

Mercy Street

5609 York Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA  90042


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