October 23, 2017, Seattle, Washington – Mercy Housing Northwest celebrated its 25th anniversary October 13 in Seattle with its fundraising event, the Power of Home Breakfast. “Twenty-five years ago, five religious communities in the Northwest – including the Edmonds Dominicans, now Adrian Dominicans – had a dream of ending homelessness and creating resilient communities,” said Sister Judy Byron, OP, a member of the Board of Directors. “Last week we celebrated what we have been able to accomplish in collaboration with all those who have joined us in this awesome ministry.”
Watch the anniversary video, in which Mercy Housing residents give personal stories of how Mercy Housing indeed ended homelessness for them and their families.
From left, Sister Judy Byron, OP, Washington State Attorney General Robert Ferguson, and Sister Linda Haydock, SNJM, at Mercy Housing Northwest’s Power of Home Breakfast. Photo Courtesy of Mercy Housing Northwest
May 1, 2017, Seattle, Washington – Mercy Housing Northwest received a gift of $30 million from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and another $5 million from the City of Seattle to “develop, own, and operate” a supportive housing and services facility for families experiencing homelessness in Seattle, according to a press release from the City of Seattle, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and Mercy Housing Northwest.
“Yesterday we received an anniversary gift beyond our biggest dreams,” Sister Judy Byron, OP, wrote in an April 27 email to Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates. Sister Judy serves on the Board of Directors of Mercy Housing Northwest. “The [Paul G. Allen Family] Foundation came to us and invited us into this partnership.”
The purpose of the project is to create permanent, stable homes for families experiencing homelessness and, through a number of onsite services, help them to break the cycle of homelessness. Some 1,684 families in King County, Washington, are homeless.
Sister Judy and Sister Lorene Heck, OP, have been involved in Mercy Housing Northwest from its beginning 25 years ago. They were Edmonds Dominican Sisters and the organization was founded as Intercommunity Housing. The Edmonds Dominican Sisters and the Adrian Dominican Sisters merged in 2003.
“Each year, more than 5,000 children and adults, including single-parent families, multigenerational households, elders, immigrants, and refugees in Washington State are at home in one of our properties,” Sister Judy said. “And, because a home is just the beginning, we provide on-site services such as health and wellness classes, life skills training, and after-school programs that help residents live up to their potential and move out of poverty.”
Sister Judy expressed deep gratitude to Paul Allen and to the religious communities of the Northwest – the Tacoma Dominicans, the Edmonds (now Adrian) Dominicans, the Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, and the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary – for their long-time commitment to the housing ministry.
To learn more about the project, read this article by Vernal Coleman of the Seattle Times.