a message from the president & board chair
We could not have gotten through 2020 without everyone working together, doing our part and supporting each other. When the pandemic struck, we had to pivot all operations practically overnight. Our success with such drastic and unprecedented changes was possible because of the connections we have built over the last 40 years. A health crisis and economic fallout culminated with natural disasters and the nation’s reckoning with systemic racism.
We’ve known that Mercy Housing onsite staff were essential frontline workers before it became a household term during the pandemic. They always will be essential to our mission. But what they accomplished in 2020 was nothing short of a miracle. The country was dealing with so much, and the impact of the pandemic was hitting people with low incomes the hardest. Practically overnight, staff became experts in CDC regulations and transformed the way we work and deliver essential services to residents in need. Employees’ innovation and can-do attitude coupled with close community relationships made the impossible, possible.
Connecting to Our Purpose
The average income for Mercy Housing residents is
which is less than 1/5 of the national average, $68,703
To ensure equitable and inclusive communities, employees represent the residents we serve.
26% Black or African-American
20% Hispanic or Latinx
5% Two or More Races
1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific
Residents call Mercy Housing Home
Connecting to Resident Needs
When COVID hit, we began routine check-in calls with residents to understand how their needs were changing. We discovered that 39% of households told us that access to food was a major concern. We responded by providing almost double the amount of food — enough for 7,000 more people than the previous year. By the summer alone, we had tripled food delivery, expanding food pantries to provide additional items, more dates and times of operation, and regularly stocking cleaning supplies, toiletries, and other necessities.
Connecting to a Digital World
Helping residents stay connected to the resources they need has always been critical to Mercy Housing’s mission. Our homes are more than four walls and a roof because of the Resident Services that our communities offer. Reliable internet and devices are essential for pursuing dreams and brighter futures, so closing the digital divide (equitable access to Wi-Fi, software, and devices) is paramount to ending cycles of poverty.
The pandemic has worsened the digital divide for people earning low incomes.
In 2020, we launched our five-year strategic plan, Inspiring Dreams, which calls for the development or preservation of 9,300 affordable homes that respond to local needs and priorities. The country’s historic deficit of affordable housing is hurting communities. A stable place to call home is an essential step to escape poverty.
The pandemic posed unforeseen hurdles to all operations, including housing development, but our dedication to the people we serve allowed us to keep our development pipeline strong and on track
mercy housing annual report
Making New Connections
Mercy Housing is grateful for all attendees and supporters that made the Just Imagine virtual celebration an overwhelming success. Everyone came together to raise over $688,000 for the Just Imagine Fund, which goes directly to our Resident Services programming. These resources provide opportunities for residents to stabilize their lives and work toward their goals. Donors gave onsite staff irreplaceable support to ensure that communities are resilient.
The Just Imagine Fund helps people to pursue the kind of life they want for themselves, people like Seeta. During the virtual event, Seeta, a Mercy Housing resident, had a discussion with our new President and CEO Ismael Guerrero. After losing her father in a civil war, Seeta and her family moved to Colorado from the Ivory Coast. They found refuge at Grace Apartments, a loving community that serves immigrants and refugees.