Mercy Housing Offers Haven and Hope During Covid and Beyond

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on communities nationwide, leaving countless people unemployed and homeless. Often with nowhere to turn and no hope in sight, individuals who once lived with security are now faced with the harsh reality of abandonment, forced out of homes and relying on others’ goodwill to get through another day.

Enter Mercy Housing, a nationwide nonprofit that dedicates its time and resources to working with families, seniors and those with special needs – a mission vital for this vulnerable population. Founded in 1981 and currently operating in 41 states, the organization serves more than 152,000 people and to date has participated in the development, financing or operation of more than 56,000 affordable homes.

Patrice, the Resident Services Coordinator was able to purchase a new fridge with help from a grant from The Walmart Foundation. Now the food pantry is able to offer fresh meat, diary, fruit, and vegetables.
Food delivery wasn’t rained out at Crestview Apartments

Transforming Lives

From education to housing to healthcare, Mercy Housing is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit affordable housing organizations in the United States. The nonprofit, through the Mercy Loan Fund, has loaned $305 million that has been leveraged into more than $2 billion of affordable housing financing and more than 24,000 homes for 61,000 people. With a goal of providing stable housing, the residents of have faced many of life’s most severe challenges, including poverty, lack of education, financial instability, substance abuse and chronic homelessness. The organization’s goal is to provide much more than a roof over residents’ heads; it’s a long-term focus on financial stability, access to healthcare and education … self-sufficiency in every sense.

Gilda Genova and Shaeleen Corea bagged 80 care packages for senior residents.
Denver Police stopped by Grace Apartments to hand out bags of non-perishable food, masks, and hand sanitizers to residents.

 

Leading with Knowledge and Empathy

Mercy Housing’s President and CEO, Ismael Guerrero, is passionate about his new role, helping navigate the churning uncertainty and hardship created by COVID-19. “Joining Mercy Housing has been a powerful experience,” he says. “This is a critical time for everyone, especially the people who call Mercy Housing home. Seeing how our team has responded to the pandemic crisis, with compassion and dedication to residents, has been inspiring. Mercy Housing was founded on the concept of ‘we can do better,’ and we apply this ideal toward creating a more socially just society through affordable homes with amenities and services that we all desire. I believe this work is essential, and thanks to our residents, staff, volunteers and partners, Mercy Housing communities are planting seeds of change to end cycles of poverty. I feel honored to have the opportunity lead such an exemplary organization.”

Senior Helpers, a nonprofit organization, dropped off essential products for seniors including incontinence briefs, socks with rubber soles, bandages, and ointment.
Two teen volunteers, with their dad’s help, brought a socially distant concert to residents at Constitution House. Residents were able to watch from their balconies or out in the courtyard.

 

Response to Covid

Because the tools were already in place to focus on the pandemic, Mercy Housing was able to quickly serve the families and individuals impacted by the crisis. “I have been really impressed with how Mercy Housing is responding to all the unprecedented challenges that coronavirus presents,” Guerrero says. “Focusing on residents’ needs continues to prove successful when it comes to keeping communities healthy and vibrant at this difficult time. We couldn’t have been so effective helping residents, had it not been for our preexisting Resident Services programs – wraparound services that are onsite in our communities, offering education, job assistance, financial literacy and much more. We have upped our digital learning resources for students over the summer, expanded our social-isolation reduction efforts for seniors, and substantially grown our food-relief capabilities. The connection that staff and residents share supports us to get impactful relief to the residents who need it most. Seeing everyone come together in such a collaborative way gives me hope. Affordable housing has always been needed. The coronavirus has exposed and exacerbated the shortage. Our country has a chance to learn from this, to increase the quality and supply of affordable housing so that families have a healthy, safe place to call home when they need it most.”
To learn more or to donate visit www.mercyhousing.org
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