Client Spotlight

Mercy Housing - December 2014

Mercy Housing was founded in 1981 by the Sisters of Mercy in response to what they saw as a growing crisis in the United States – the lack of safe, clean, quality and affordable housing.

imgresMHC's mission is to create stable, vibrant and healthy communities by developing, financing and operating affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities. With a presence in 41 states, MHI has developed, preserved and financed more than 45,800 affordable homes nationwide, both rental and single family, serving more than 152,600 adults and children on any given day. Mercy Housing California (MHC) is the largest regional division of national nonprofit Mercy Housing, Inc.

The primary impact of the core work of MHC is the alleviation of poverty. Fifty-one percent of residents are families, 33% are seniors and 16% are people with special needs. The median annual income of a Mercy Housing household in California is $15,344. At any moment in time, over 22,000 adults and children in California are given the opportunity to move up and out of poverty by first, having access to quality housing that they can afford and second, having access to services within the housing aimed at gaining education, increasing income potential, maintaining independence, accessing affordable healthcare and more.

The need to develop a partnership with SFBFS began as the needs of their residents increased during the recession. As part of their organizational goals and regional goals, MHC were looking to enhance and improve health programs that were already occurring at our affordable housing communities throughout Sacramento comprised of 760 rental apartments for extremely low, low, and moderate income families. Additionally a majority of their tenant population lack reliable transportation access and have disabilities which create barriers to accessing SFBFS Distributions (both historically at warehouse and at present mobile distributions).

One MHC employee had a personal connection with a staff member of Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) and suggested reaching out to SFBFS to see if they could form a partnership to help the residents. SFBFS assists MHC by having a Food Distribution at 10 Mercy Housing Sites once per calendar month. At the distribution, tenants are referred to SFBFS' education programs and to CalFresh eligibility screening and assistance.

Mercy Housing and SFBFS are dedicated to helping families in need in our community. "In response to the overwhelming challenge our families face in maintaining healthy food budgets, it is our hope that the assistance from SFBFS helps us take on that challenge of providing quality and nutritious food supplements to their monthly food budgets," says Steven Root, Resident Services Coordinator at Mercy Housing. "It is a part of Mercy Housing's core values of Justice, Mercy, and Respect."

If you are an organization looking to begin a partnership with SFBFS, please call (916) 456-1980.

 

Click on a link below to read archived Client Spotlights:

December 2014 - Mercy Housing (Food)
November 2014 - Kenneth Holder (Food)
September 2014 - Yvonne Davis (Senior)
August 2014 - Rahimi Family (Youth Education)
July 2014 - Kevin Wiley (Parent Education)
June 2014 - Krash Munoz (Youth Education)
May 2014 - Virgina Saucedo (Adult Education) 
April 2014 - Sherrie Kelley (Food - Garden)
March 2014 - Theodore Williams (Food)
February 2014 - Maria Perez (Parent Education) 
January 2014 - Francine Murchinson (Clothing)
December 2013 - Johnson Family (SMUD)
December 2013 - Yelena Demchik (Food)
November 2013 - Kenyatta Clark (Food) 
October 2013 - Frank and Janet (Food)
October 2013 - Julie Bucsit (Food - Garden)
September 2013 - Javier Martinez (Adult Education)
September 2013 - Jennifer McCoy (Food - Garden)
August 2013 - Hassan Abdullah (Clothing)
July 2013 - Jesse Rodriguez (Youth Ed)
June 2013 - Minnie Counts (Food, Garden)

 

 




  May 2013 - Christina Bordenave (Parent Ed)
April 2013 - Gertrude Byrd (Senior)
April 2013 - Cynthia Ryan (Food)
March 2013 - Diana Licon (Youth Education)
March 2013 - Alicia Brown (Food)
February 2013 - Gabriela Enriquez (Parent Ed)
December 2012 - Cynthia Robertson (Clothing)
November 2012 - Naomi Fox (SMUD)
October 2012 - Gayle and Calith (Food)
September 2012 - Veronica Lopez (Adult Ed)
August 2012 - Ossie Townsend (Food)
July 2012 - Moria Osario (Adult Education)
June 2012 - Gigi Winther (Senior)
May 2012 - Joyce & Christian (Parent Ed)
April 2012 - Yuvonda McNeal (Adult Education)
March 2012 - April Hewlett (Adult Education)
February 2012 - Diego Aguilar (Youth Ed)
January 2012 - Oleksandr and Olga (Parent Ed)
November 2011 - Maria Delgado (Mother-Baby)
October 2011 - Carl & Collette (Clothing)

Volunteer Spotlight – October 2011
Yolanda Moore

yolanda.jpgYolanda Moore originally came to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) about five years ago when she was taking art classes at a local community college. She heard, by word of mouth, about a free art program for women in Sacramento, offered at a local non-profit organization. She became intrigued with the idea decided to check it out. What she found was the Women’s Wisdom Art program at SFBFS, a free art group for women from diverse backgrounds, who come together to support one another, learn new skills, and gain self-confidence and creativity. Yolanda felt very at home and started to gain confidence in her artistic abilities.

yolanda_1.jpgAfter attending classes, she decided to pursue her degree in Art at Sacramento State University. Her classes began to take up the majority of her time. Eventually she approached Helen Plenert, Women’s Wisdom Art Program Manager, to inform her that she no longer had time to participate in the program and needed to commit full time to her Sac State classes. Although Helen and the other students were sad to see Yolanda leave, it made them happy that she was pursuing a lifelong goal. By setting such a goal and steadfastly working toward it, Yolanda was unknowingly inspiring others in the program. “Even as a student, she was always a huge help in the classroom,” says Helen. “I asked her to consider coming back as a volunteer someday. It was just over a year ago when she walked back in to begin volunteer work for us. “

In 2010, Yolanda returned to SFBFS after receiving her degree as a volunteer for the Women’s Wisdom Art program.  As a volunteer, Yolanda offers support to the students in the program. “Every day is different,” says Yolanda. She typically arrives before any classes start, working with the instructors and pulling out all the necessary materials. The women often ask for help finding a certain item or ask for Yolanda’s opinion on a project. “Every woman has her own style when it comes to art,” she comments. “I try to give my opinion to them while at the same time making sure it doesn’t interfere with their own ideas.” Yolanda’s favorite part of volunteering is seeing students progress. Oftentimes students arrive unsure and afraid that they can’t create something worthwhile. The nature of the program allows them to freely express themselves and develop creatively. Once a student sees their work displayed on a gallery wall, they feel accomplished and self-confident. “The quality of the artwork created by these women is truly impressive,” says Yolanda.

Helen and the other instructors in the program value each and every day that Yolanda volunteers in the classroom. According to Helen, Yolanda is one of those rare jewels who see what needs to be done and just jumps headfirst in to do it. A new student may need some comforting and Yolanda just sits down next to her as if that was the last seat in the room and strikes up a conversation. Another minute she is up to her elbows in dirty dishes and paint brushes. “It's really a rare moment when I have to ask her to help with something specific because she usually thinks of it before I do. In fact, she may have already done it before I finish asking!” says Helen.

In addition to volunteering, Yolanda can be found painting or drawing on her own time, spending time with her friends, or visiting her family, including her grown children and five grandchildren.

If you are interested in volunteering your time to help someone in need in our community, click here for more information.