Mercy Housing Southeast provides affordable housing to over 5,500 low-income family and senior residents across the southeast. Two-thirds of our footprint is in Georgia, with over 2,300 homes in the state. The residents we serve live on low or very low-incomes earning about $15,000 annually.
2020 has made it clear that affordable housing is critical to health and stability. Most residents in our housing live paycheck to paycheck and are unable to weather an unexpected expense or job loss. At the onset of COVID-19, Mercy Housing took immediate steps to meet urgent needs while safeguarding residents and staff against exposure. "Pop-up pantries" were created to provide food, toiletries, baby supplies, and other household staples. We expanded partnerships with local nonprofits, restaurants and service providers to bring fresh foods and prepared meals to residents' homes. To reduce social isolation, we are performing daily wellness checks, which is especially important for seniors who are at greater risk for loneliness.
Our resident services have been reimagined to take place virtually to promote online schooling, job-readiness and social interaction. Many residents have received new tablets, high-speed internet, and technology training free-of-charge. Our 2020 summer camp went virtual, and we are introducing several job-readiness initiatives using remote learning. These technologies empower residents to stay connected with their community, access goods and services, and avoid social isolation. To provide relief during this uncertain time, we also created a rental assistance fund to ensure residents financially impacted by the pandemic 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 and supply pantries, fresh foods for home meals, expenses related to virtual programming, and support to replenish our rental assistance fund. We appreciate all who are involved in GAgives on Giving Tuesday!