Mercy Housing was founded in 1981, by Sister Timothy Marie O’Roark, a Sister of Mercy of Omaha, who witnessed the horrible conditions in which families who were poor lived. She saw that many had little to no help accessing affordable housing, and she vowed, “We can do better.”
Today, 35 years later, Mercy Housing serves nearly 60,000 people in 21 states with over 22,500 units of housing and is one of the largest affordable housing providers in the United States.
In Arizona, they serve more than 600 low-income families, seniors, veterans, refugees, and people with special needs by providing safe, affordable homes at 13 Mercy Housing communities in the state. Providing housing is just the beginning, roughly 70% of the properties across the nation have Resident Services, with 6 RSC in Arizona, adding 1 more RSC in Tucson starting in 2019.
They provide services across four core programming areas: Community Engagement, Economic Development (housing and financial stability), Education (youth programs), and Health and Wellness. Some of the specific services include, translation (8 languages spoken at the properties), rental assistance, physical activities, socialization, food boxes, bx health on-site, local nursing students, health care access and the list goes on and on. More info at mercyhousing.org
I spoke with Resident Services Manager Karen Blackbird and Resident Services Coordinator Glenn Whitaker for our Valley Views program.