Dominican Sisters of Adrian Invest $1.5 Million in Mercy Housing Northwest’s Affordable Housing-Education Model

The two organizations continue their long-term partnership to end cycles of poverty through housing and education in the Pacific Northwest.

SEATTLE — A leading affordable housing nonprofit, Mercy Housing Northwest (MHNW), and the Dominican Sisters of Adrian have partnered once again to meet the historic need for educational opportunities for families earning low incomes. This $1.5M investment will further develop MHNW’s comprehensive out-of-school time programs serving families earning low incomes that call Mercy Housing home. This includes enhanced literacy and math curricula at eight of MHNW’s largest family affordable housing communities—serving up to 1,000 children and youth in kindergarten through twelfth grade annually.

“We made this investment as part of a congregational commitment to help build resilient communities with local partners that have capacity to maximize impact in places where our Sisters have had a long-term engagement,” said Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the congregation. “Mercy Housing Northwest is one such dynamic partner and our Sisters of the former Dominican Sisters of Edmonds were among the founding communities that gave birth to MHNW. We have high hopes that this investment will bring incalculable returns in the enriched lives of thousands of children.”

Affordable Housing as a Platform for Education Equity and Community Resilience: MHNW has a remarkable track record with out-of-school time programming, having seen a 100% high school graduation rate for over five years at one community in Bellingham, WA. They wanted to scale this success to meet the growing need for educational opportunities for communities earning low incomes—especially BIPOC communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

The need: The average family income at MHNW is less than $14,000 annually. In a recent survey with residents raising school-age children, respondents overwhelmingly agreed (nearly 75%) that it would be a benefit for MHNW to provide more out-of-school time (OST) programming.

MHNW’s five-year goal is to foster real and measurable progress toward school success at primary and secondary grade levels as they focus on on-time high school graduation and readiness for post-secondary education and career opportunities. MHNW activates K-12 education support systems through their industry-leading affordable housing model. The focus is increasing student housing stability, strengthening student and parent engagement, and supporting a culture of school success.

The Dominican Sisters of Edmonds came to the Northwest in 1890 and continue their ministry here as members of the Adrian Dominican Congregation, following a merger in 2003. As a founding community of Mercy Housing Northwest, the Sisters have a 29-year history of personal investment, volunteerism, and financial support of resiliency-building programming and growing the affordable housing portfolio of MHNW. Mercy Housing Northwest and Adrian Dominican Sisters share a belief in the power of a stable home to address communities’ most pressing needs with income inequality, disparate access to education, and the long-standing systemic barriers that perpetuate these inequities.

“MHNW would not exist without the vision, passion, and commitment of these Dominican Sisters, past and present. It was their original belief in the power of home that brings us to this opportunity. The two organizations’ shared legacy better serves and empowers vulnerable communities through safe, stable, affordable housing. We thank them for this investment because it will make an incredible, positive impact for communities with low incomes. Breaking cycles of poverty and creating hope begins with partnerships like this.”—Joe Thompson, President Mercy Housing Northwest

 

Mercy Housing Northwest has developed over 2,500 apartment homes in 55 communities across the Pacific Northwest. Each year, 6,700 residents call these communities home, serving families, seniors, and people with special needs with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI).

Impact and Demographics:

  • Investment will serve around 550 students in Year One and up to 1,000 in Year Five
  • Impact 8 MHNW family communities, including 988 homes and an estimated 3,000 residents
  • Approximately 70% of school-age residents identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)
  • 40 languages spoken by MHNW residents regionwide in 2020

Contact: Amy Claire Wild | GroundFloor Media | AcWild@groundfloormedia.com

About Adrian Dominican Sisters
The Dominican Sisters of Adrian, a Congregation of 480 vowed women religious and more than 200 Associates, traces its roots back to St. Dominic in the 13th century. Based in Adrian, Michigan, the Sisters minister in 23 states and in the Dominican Republic, Norway, and the Philippines. The Congregation’s Vision is to “seek truth, make peace, reverence life.

About Mercy Housing Northwest
Since 1992, Mercy Housing Northwest (MHNW) has provided affordable homes to people with low incomes, including families, seniors, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with disabilities. With 55 properties in Washington and Idaho, MHNW serves more than 6,700 people every day. MHNW supplements much of its housing with Resident Services, programs that help residents build stable lives. MHNW is a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, CO.