Illinois Deputy Governor Sol Flores Provides Keynote Address to 350 Chicago-Area Community Leaders Who Support Regional Affordable Housing Initiatives
CHICAGO – (RealEstateRama) – Mercy Housing Lakefront hosted its annual Moving Forward Together Gala at the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel to celebrate significant milestones in advancing its mission to bring affordable housing and supportive services to thousands of low-income individuals, families, and children across Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
More than 350 community leaders attended this year’s event to acknowledge Mercy Housing Lakefront’s impact on families and individuals in need of safe, stable homes, and supportive services to help them live in hope.
The evening included a keynote address by Illinois Deputy Governor Sol Flores, who spoke about the need to support innovative affordable housing solutions in vulnerable communities. The event also featured some of Mercy Housing’s significant success stories in 2019 in Chicago and across the Midwest.
“Housing is a human right,” said Flores during her address. “Children and adults deserve an opportunity to thrive and grow in safe and decent homes, where their young minds and bodies can grow in healthy conditions free from abuse, violence, poverty, and malnutrition.”
In 2019, MHL made significant improvements to several existing properties, expanded its work in key markets including Indianapolis, and implemented its new Community Health Worker Program.
This program, made possible with support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and the Washington Square Health Foundation, helps permanent supportive housing residents increase their self-efficacy, manage their chronic health conditions, and improve their overall health. The program is staffed by Community Health Workers, extensively trained staff members with life experiences similar to the residents they are serving. Four of Mercy Housing Lakefront’s five Community Health Workers are also residents of Mercy Housing Lakefront’s permanent supportive housing. Other key 2019 milestones include:
- River Station Senior Residences (Kankakee, IL) – Low-income seniors moved into 70 new units of affordable housing in Kankakee. The building offers support for residents 55 years of age or older, with access to vital health and human services.
- Miriam Apartments & Major Jenkins Apartments (Chicago, IL – Uptown Neighborhood) – Extensive gut renovation projects are in progress at both properties, improving 222 units of permanent supportive housing. These critical updates and improvements will provide long-term stability to these properties and their residents.
- Central Greens (Indianapolis, IN) – Plans were finalized for this new integrated permanent supportive and affordable housing development serving both individuals who have experienced homelessness and low-income Indianapolis families. By 2021, more than 156 new units of housing will be added as part of the city’s central mission to end homelessness.
- Lofts on Arthington (Homan Square) – The redevelopment of the former Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog printing facility into a beautiful 181-unit affordable family housing complex will receive the 2019 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award from Landmarks Illinois on October 18 and the Preservation Excellence Award from the City of Chicago Landmarks Commission on October 28.
Mercy Housing also recognized key community leaders who have played an important role to advance affordable housing and supportive services in the region. Recipients of the 2019 Moving Forward Together awards included:
- Inspiring Hope Award – Illinois Deputy Governor Sol Flores was recognized for her inspiring story of overcoming poverty as a child to find professional success as a long-term advocate for the homeless and a political leader.
- Partners in Innovation Award – The organizations who partnered with MHL to make the rehab of the Miriam Apartments possible were acknowledged for their dedication to the project.
- Volunteer Service Award – Anthony Catholic Church was recognized for providing Christmas presents and Easter baskets to more than 80 youth in MHL’s Roseland Properties for more than seven years.
“We are truly honored to recognize the dedicated community leaders and organizations that make our work possible,” said Mark Angelini, President of Mercy Housing Lakefront. “This event brings to life our long-term partnerships that are vital for providing thousands of people with affordable housing solutions. As we continue to introduce new services and expand our presence in cities and regions such as Indianapolis, we are excited about what’s ahead for Mercy Housing.”
About Mercy Housing Lakefront: Mercy Housing Lakefront (MHL) is working to build a region where everyone has an affordable home to use as a springboard to achieve better health, economic security, and a brighter future for their kids. MHL owns and operates 52 properties in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana, serving more than 8,000 people annually. MHL is a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Please find additional information at www.mercyhousinglakefront.org.