Mercy Housing Lakefront recognized National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week with a bus tour in Chicago’s Uptown and Near North neighborhoods.
According to the Chicago Coalition of the Homeless, 116,042 Chicagoans were homeless throughout the course of the 2012-2013 school year, including a record number of 18,669 students.
Tour participants learned about the challenges facing homeless individuals, and stopped at three of Mercy’s permanent supportive housing properties– Miriam Apartments, Harold Washinton Apartments and Margot and Harold Schiff Residences.
During the tour, participants also met with several residents, including Ollie, to learn first hand about how the residents have transformed their lives.
Ollie used to be homeless. Thanks to you, and supporters like you, she now lives in hope at Mercy’s Harold Washington Apartments in the Uptwon Community of Chicago.
While struggling to overcome several life challenges, Ollie became homeless. She found herself down and out, depressed, and struggling to survive on the streets and in shelters. Fortunately, a stranger at a soup kitchen told her about openings at Mercy Housing Lakefront. She acted on his tip by waiting outside overnight for an opportunity to apply for an apartment. Her efforts were successful and she was able to obtain a home at Harold Washington Apartments.
Ollie says, “my life has changed tremendously. I feel so much better about myself and my future.”
At Mercy, she receives case management support, participates in the Tenant Leadership Program, and volunteers at a community garden.
“Before Mercy Housing I was ashamed of my life. Now I have a reason to live and smile,” says ollie.
To learn more about how you can help support others like Ollie or to sign up for future informational bus tours, please visit www.mercyhousinglakefront.org.