Community | Fall 2019

Health and happiness: Mercy Housing Lakefront breaks the destructive cycle of poverty

Mercy Housing Lakefront offers an enrichment program that benefits hundreds of youth, helping them grow academically and socially.
(Photo courtesy of Mercy Housing Lakefront)

Mercy Housing Lakefront provides housing and services to help those who come from a place of social isolation, limited means, and significant trauma to get their lives on track. And that begins with a stable place to live.

“Our goal, starting with housing, is to enable those individuals to heal, both physically and emotionally, and then provide them with the tools, training, and support so they have the ability to move on and take charge of their lives,” says Mercy Housing Lakefront President Mark Angelini.

Emotional stress, physical problems

The organization serves the chronically homeless, special needs individuals and families, working families, and seniors who have very little, if any, income. Those circumstances not only make day-to-day living difficult but can also put a strain on health.

To combat that, the nonprofit also offers services that:

  • Improve health and wellness
  • Move people up the wealth ladder, which could mean helping someone achieve economic income stability and more easily meet monthly financial needs
  • Provide educational enrichment, which takes the form of out-of-school programs for children

A life of meaning

Angelini says it’s a common assumption that the people Mercy Housing serves are looking for a handout, but life has hit many of them hard, and they’re desperately trying to overcome obstacles to achieve a meaningful life.

“The people we house, when you get to know them and understand their situations, I don't think it's too much to say you would be in awe of their personal strength and toughness,” he says. “They’ve gotten through some really difficult life situations, going back, in a lot of cases, to birth.”

Huntington has been active in helping Mercy Housing Lakefront achieve its mission. Angelini says Huntington’s Chicago Region President Pete Gillespie is a very active supporter.

“He's a very compassionate man and very creative,” says Angelini. “I'm confident that, within the next year or so, we're going to have some new models of delivering our services, enabled by Pete's guidance and advice. We certainly are grateful for the philanthropic support that we've received from Huntington.”

About the organization

Name: Mercy Housing Lakefront
City: Chicago
Phone: (312) 447-4500
Mission: Mercy Housing is redefining affordable, low-income housing, and is working to build a more humane world where poverty is alleviated, communities are healthy, and all people can develop their full potential.

How you can help

Learn about the many ways to support Mercy Housing Lakefront by visiting

Make an impact

Learn how Huntington can help make a positive impact in the region. Contact your Huntington relationship manager.
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