Mercy Housing Lakefront is a nonprofit developer of program-enriched, affordable housing for people in need. Since its founding in 1986, MHL has made it its mission to help the chronically homeless, those with special needs, senior citizens, and at-risk families gain independence, thus creating stable, vibrant, and healthy communities.
“Even though ‘housing’ is literally our middle name, Mercy Housing Lakefront is not in the business of building buildings; we’re in the business of building healthy futures,” says CEO Mark Angelini. To achieve that goal, Mercy Housing provides its residents with quality housing as well as a comprehensive range of services, including health care and education, until they can support themselves and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Thanks to a concerted effort to preserve housing after the 2008 financial crisis, Mercy Housing now provides affordable housing for more than 8,000 individuals in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin across 52 properties. In 2017, 85 percent of Mercy Housing residents maintained their housing despite many obstacles including addiction, mental illness, and low income.
When Edna was a resident at Mercy Housing, she revealed to her property manager her aspirations of becoming a baker. Mercy Housing’s caseworkers helped her enroll in Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. “There were challenges — this was a person who had a lot of tough breaks in life — but she met every one and blew past it,” says Angelini. “Though there were days when she wanted to give up and quit, she didn’t — and she graduated.” Today Edna lives in her own apartment, has a job in the food industry, and is still pursuing a career in baking.