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Health Starts
with Home

Henry’s life has been full of both struggle and triumph. He overcame a challenging childhood to attend a prestigious college and later worked for years in social services. However, Henry also struggled with addiction, harming his career and relationships with his family. He decided it was time to take control of his life and checked himself into a recovery program, ultimately leading to his current home at South Loop Apartments in Chiacgo, where he has lived for 14 years. “This place became a sanctuary,” Henry says. It allowed him to reconnect with his daughters and grandchildren and helped him to manage his diabetes, cholesterol imbalance, and hypertension.  

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“I have Mercy Housing to thank for helping me  gain control of my health. I’m proud to do the same for others and be someone they can relate to through my role as a community health worker."

 

— Henry,
Mercy Housing Resident

 

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Henry is now one of Mercy Housing’s Community Health Workers, hired to help residents of supportive housing manage their chronic health conditions. He provided input on the program’s development and was trained, along with the other Community Health Workers, to deliver evidence-based services to help participants improve their health. Because Community Health Workers have had similar past experiences, they can relate to and understand the people they serve. Henry shares, “being the person they can relate to” is essential to connecting with and motivating participants to better their health. 

The timing of the job could not have been more perfect. It provides Henry with the opportunity to give back to the supportive housing community. “I went through a period in my life where people reached out for me.” Henry says, “I’m working with people that are crossing the same path I crossed.”

His contributions continue to make an impact at South Loop Apartments and Mercy Housing. In 2019, Henry was appointed to Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Board of Directors. 

Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Community Health Worker Program was developed and implemented in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Near North Health Service Corporation, Sinai Urban Health Institute, and the Washington Square Health Foundation. 

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The health and safety of Mercy Housing residents and employees are at the top of our list of priorities.

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 Amid a continued pandemic, we supported over 80 onsite COVID-19 vaccination clinics for residents and required all employees to be vaccinated.