Sep 29Unwavering Support
Resident Services programming is at the heart of Mercy Housing’s mission. These programs offer resources to meet each residents’ specific needs and support them in achieving their goals. We have financial education, job assistance, online education, social isolation reduction programs for seniors, and health and wellness classes. Mercy Housing is able to provide these programs with the help of so many amazing, generous supporters. These are people who have helped Mercy Housing over the years during periods of calm, but also during trying times like these.
Colleen is one of these people.
Colleen has been an avid supporter and a donor of Mercy Housing for many years. She is a strong voice to ensure affordable housing remains in our communities and is no stranger to the intersection of affordable housing and health. Colleen served for 23 years as senior vice president and chief advocacy officer at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a longtime partner of Mercy Housing, and she understands the impact stable housing has on health, wellness, and one’s ability to succeed and reach their fullest potential.
CHI, one of the nation’s largest faith-based health care systems and a champion of the well-being of our communities, merged with San Francisco-based Dignity Health in 2019 to form CommonSpirit Health, where Colleen served before her recent retirement. Their mission is to make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of the people they serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while advancing social justice for all. (catholichealthinitiatives.org).
Through her work at CHI and CommonSpirit Health, Colleen saw first-hand the effect Resident Services programs have on residents’ lives and the impact Mercy Housing has on the community. Affordable, stable housing, along with these important onsite programs, help support residents’ well-being and offer an upward trajectory of overall health and wellness. Because housing and health are so tightly interconnected, Colleen appreciates Mercy Housing’s essential role and this connection inspires her to generously donate to Mercy Housing.
“It is an honor to support Mercy Housing and know that the lives of individuals, families, and communities can be dramatically improved through the housing stability they provide,” said Colleen.
Additionally, Colleen helped develop and nurture the strategic partnership between CHI and Mercy Housing that focused on the intersection between housing and healthcare. Colleen has also organized and participated in volunteer opportunities at several Mercy Housing properties in Denver. From painting walls and organizing food pantries at the Aromor Apartments to cleaning community spaces at Decatur Place, Colleen recognizes the importance of each action in establishing a strong sense of stability and home for so many Mercy Housing residents.
Providing this sense of home is a fundamental building block to creating stable, vibrant futures. Although home means something a little different to each of us, the importance of its value is universal.
“Home means a place of familiarity, a place I feel grounded and safe. Home represents family and a feeling of connectedness,” said Colleen.
While Colleen recently retired, her advocacy is resolute for programs and organizations like Mercy Housing that promote health. She plans to remain active by continuing to serve with organizations that promote health and wellness in our community. It will not be all work and no play for Colleen. She looks forward to enjoying time traveling and catching up with family and friends.
Her passion for affordable housing, with the real-life impact it has on health, is just one reason we are so grateful for Colleen and her support! Thank you for all you do for Mercy Housing!