When Charlene Williams, 67, began looking for affordable homes near her daughters and grandchildren in Anaheim, she thought she might be expecting too much by looking for something affordable. Although the city of Anaheim has taken great steps to increase affordable housing for its residents, the area is still known for its high cost of living.
In Linbrook Court, a Mercy Housing California property for low-income seniors, Williams not only found a new affordable home near her family; she found a community. Since moving there in February 2004, Williams has served as president of the property’s resident council, been featured in a senior work-out video, and taken part in a variety of activities, including singing in a choir, playing boccie ball and organizing a property pool tournament.
“Charlene is determined to participate in all the activities she can, both in the community and outside the community,” said Mercy Housing California Resident Services Coordinator Erin Donovan. “She’s a real ‘people’ person and a huge advocate for being involved.”
Thanks to Citi Foundation’s continued support of Mercy Housing, more low-income seniors, like Williams, will have safe, stable affordable homes nationwide. In 2008, Mercy Housing received $500,000 from the Citi Foundation to support efforts in California and Illinois, as well as national housing development opportunities and capacity building. Citi Foundation recently awarded Mercy Housing an additional $250,000 grant to continue supporting the creation of healthy communities through affordable housing in 2009. The grant will support Mercy Housing in California and Illinois, including $100,000 that will go directly to Mercy Housing California’s efforts in Los Angeles and San Francisco.