Mercy Housing Southeast provides affordable housing to over 5,500 low-income families, seniors and individuals across the southeast. Over two-thirds of our footprint is in Georgia, with over 2,300 homes in the state. The residents we serve are low or very low-income earning about $15,000 annually.
The COVID-19 health emergency has made it more clear than ever that affordable housing is a public health issue. In this time of crisis, we have taken immediate steps to support nutrition and health while safeguarding residents and staff against exposure to the virus. We have created "pop-up pantries" providing food, cleaning supplies, and household necessities. Staff are practicing social distancing and deep cleaning so Mercy Housing properties clean. To reduce social isolation amid cancelled activities, we are performing daily wellness checks and appointments, which is especially important for seniors who may have limited connections outside their housing community.
Most residents live paycheck to paycheck and are unable to weather an unexpected expense or temporary job loss. Many work in the service and retail industries, and have already begun to lose their jobs. To provide relief during this uncertain time, we have created a rental and utility assistance fund to ensure residents remain stably housed.
While Mercy Housing has ramped up support during this unpredictable time, our resources are limited. Additional contributions are needed for restocking food pantries, personal protective gear, and cleaning supplies to sanitize properties, and support to replenish the rental assistance fund.