In 2019, Mercy Housing Lakefront’s St. Catherine Residence celebrated 125 years serving women in the Milwaukee community. At MHL’s Live in Hope celebration in Milwaukee, the organization honored St. Catherine’s and recognized the many partners and community members who provide the support that makes its long history possible. The Friends of St. Catherine’s were recognized for their over 50 years of impactful work to improve the lives of the residents with low incomes that call St. Catherine Residence home.
Caryl, a current resident at St. Catherine’s, shared her experiences with attendees at Live in Hope and noted her personal growth over the years with pride. When she first came to the community, Caryl explained that she struggled to live independently, often relying on others for help. However, Caryl said, “My experience at St. Catherine Residence has made me a better person.”
Living at St. Catherine’s, she said, “has helped me come up with goals and has pushed me forward.” Caryl finds classes at St. Catherine’s especially helpful: “I always feel that I get something out of it that I can use.” In particular, she benefited from yoga classes which “help me clear my mind and relax.” More importantly, with access to a computer lab and computer classes, Caryl can now more easily search for jobs and complete online job applications.
Caryl stressed that she has also learned about important social skills such as cooperation and teamwork, and she has built meaningful relationships with fellow residents. “My parents and I are very grateful for the opportunity to live in St. Catherine Residence.”
St. Catherine's 125th
St. Catherine’s was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1894 to provide temporary housing to the large numbers of young women moving from rural areas to Milwaukee for jobs or schooling. Over the years, St. Catherine’s has responded to changing needs in the community and now primarily serves low-income women, many of whom are transitioning out of substance abuse programs or abusive domestic situations, single mothers, and women who have experienced homelessness. Each year, over 200 women, including several new and expecting mothers, call St. Catherine’s home.