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An Opportunity for a Second Chance

To Carl, a 15-year military veteran, family is everything. But when he fell on hard times, leaving him unemployed, dealing with health issues, and homeless, he isolated himself from his strongest support system: his family.

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“If it wasn’t for Mercy Housing, I could easily be sleeping on the Green Line or the Blue Line, but instead, I’ve got a nice, comfortable, warm place to go.”

 

— Carl,
Mercy Housing Resident

 

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“I missed birthdays, graduations, births, the list goes on and on and on,” he said. 

Carl eventually found a transitional housing program, and his case manager referred him to Mercy Housing Lakefront. “There’s so many resources out there that are available, that I did not know about,” Carl explains. “The biggest thing was just to get permanent housing.”

Carl has lived at South Loop Apartments for more than three years and has taken steps to improve his life. With access to friendly, dedicated staff, Carl receives case management on site and referrals to external service partners. “I’m grateful for the building, the services, the staff, they really are committed. They support you 100%. I’ve seen that time and time and time again.” 

He has also been working on healing relationships with his family, rebuilding that foundation of support. Along with his daughter and three grandkids, Carl is particularly close with his two brothers and his sister. Recently, his brother and sister threw him a surprise 60th birthday party, which brought him immense joy. Carl has found steady employment as a shipping and receiving clerk. He also shares that having stable housing has had a huge impact on a health condition he has dealt with for years. “[It] is not even an issue now, where in the past I easily could have died. My life has improved a lot since I’ve been here.” 

These days, Carl is looking forward to the future and has goals of maintaining his health, improving his nutrition, and prioritizing spirituality. He says he wakes up every morning with a purpose and does not take any days for granted. Carl feels that “steps backward are not even an option.”  

More than anything, Carl expresses, “I’m really grateful for Mercy Housing and the opportunity they give the residents. If it wasn’t for Mercy Housing, I could easily be sleeping on the Green Line or the Blue Line, but instead, I’ve got a nice, comfortable, warm place to go. I’m saying thank you to the donors for what they’ve done to help me personally.”