Mary has lived at the Miriam Apartments for over six years and looks forward to seeing the updated building when its rehabilitation is finished in 2020. Along with all of the Miriam’s residents, she has been temporarily relocated since construction began last April. “The move was perfect,” Mary says. “Everything was so smooth.”
Mary discovered Mercy Housing Lakefront after experiencing a series of personal crises. Mary’s boyfriend passed away suddenly. She was working for his business, and the double loss of her partner and job hit her hard. The Great Recession made job searching especially difficult. Mary used up her savings, and at the same time, she struggled to deal with the trauma of her losses. She was also affected by what was later diagnosed as an anxiety disorder.
Mary had been living with her daughter, who was in middle school, but eventually she had to ask her ex-husband to become the primary caretaker. With all the challenges piling up, Mary says that she “was just exhausted.”
Mary found a home at the Miriam in Chicago’s Uptown community and says her case manager has been with her “from day one.” She eventually learned how to manage her anxiety and quit drinking and smoking. “Really, in my head,” Mary explains, “I knew that there was something else going on. I never want to feel that way again.” Mary is thankful for the help she has been provided, notably, the “time to recover physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”
Finding Time to Recover
Mary’s daughter is in college now, and Mary hopes to increase her own independence through employment. Like many of the residents who relocated, she has adapted to living in a new home and says that living in a different community has been “kind of a transition — it’s been a good experience.”
Now, Mary is excited to move back to the Miriam, where her affordable, supportive home will provide a path “to get to more of an independent place.” She especially appreciates that Mercy Housing Lakefront provides “a whole program” that “deals with the whole person.”
The Miriam Apartments, last rehabilitated in 1991, is one of MHL’s oldest buildings. Originally named for Sister Miriam Friday, who dedicated her life to serving those in need in Uptown, the Miriam provides Permanent Supportive Housing to people with low incomes who have experienced homelessness and people with disabilities. In April 2019, MHL began construction on a major rehabilitation of the Miriam to update the building, improve amenities, and ensure that residents’ needs are met for years to come.
MHL greatly appreciates all the partners whose support made this rehabilitation possible:
The A. Montgomery Ward Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Co-Trustee
Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen
The City of Chicago
Clocktower Tax Credits
ComEd’s Affordable Housing New Construction Program
Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s Affordable Housing Program
The Illinois Housing Development Authority
The John and Kathleen Schreiber Foundation
Landon Bone Baker Architects
MacRostie Historic Advisors
National Equity Fund
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Urban Relocation Services
It's a whole program, not just the housing, which is a blessing.
— Mary, Mercy Housing Resident