Earlier this summer, the Nuns on the Bus visited Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Englewood property on their cross-country journey to Washington D.C. More than a dozen Catholic Nuns travelled across nine states to raise awareness and campaign for budget fairness across the nation.

A large crowd welcomed the Nuns as the bus pulled up to the Englewood property, before Sister Simone Campbell led a press conference to discuss social justice and federal budget concerns.

“Your stories and the stories here at Mercy Housing—these are the stories that need to shape our government,” exclaimed Campbell. “We are here to learn. We are here to learn your stories and in the process carry them back to Washington.”

JoAnn Thompson, Alderman of the 16th Ward, as well as a resident of the Englewood Apartments, Dan Taylor, also shared their experiences with Mercy Housing and the importance of its services.

“Mercy Housing has made a great impact on my life, and many others like me,” shared Taylor. “Without Mercy Housing I would still be on Lower Wacker Drive, where I lived for five years before Mercy Housing came into my life. I am very grateful for the supportive services like Mercy Housing and for these wonderful Nuns. Without the funds for these types of programs, there is no telling where I would be.”

The Nuns mission was to encourage American citizens to stand up against cuts to the federal budget and to help save crucial social services for struggling people in our neighborhoods. However, along the way the travelling group also had a chance to see first-hand how these programs can restore communities and restore hope. Sister Simone Campbell shared how inspiring it was to witness a public-private partnership flourishing.  (All of Mercy Housing’s buildings are constructed with public-private financing partnerships)

The Sisters of Mercy reached the nation’s capital on July 2nd. Armed with the stories of Englewood Apartments’ residents, Dan Taylor and Shiesha Smith, the group was anxious to share what they had learned with legislators.

Award-winning broadcast journalist, Bill Moyers, followed the Sisters’ journey and captured tenant-leader Shiesha Smith’s  moving personal story.  Shiesha shared her incredible journey from criminal record to the classroom and how Mercy Housing Lakefront played a role in helping her reclaim her life after hardship. To view the short interview, please click the following link: “A Home Away From the Madness.”