Community Matters News and Updates (Winter 2014)

Community Matters 2014

Take a look at some of the good work done over the past few months by Mercy Housing Staff and Partners in communities all across the nation.

Sister Lillian Murphy retiring after 27 years of service as Mercy Housing CEO

In June 2014, Sister Lillian Murphy, RSM, will retire from her position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization. Mercy Housing’s National Board of Trustees has selected current Mercy Housing President Jane Graf as the new CEO effective July 1.

Since arriving in Denver 27 years ago and joining Mercy Housing as the President and CEO, Sister Lillian has grown the organization to become an award-winning national nonprofit organization with a presence in 41 states.

Sister Lillian is a national spokesperson for the cause of affordable housing and the needs of people who are economically poor. She has been honored for her work, including being named Housing Person of the Year by the National Housing Conference in 2011.

“Sister Lillian’s dedication and leadership over the last 27 years have helped make Mercy Housing one of the most respected and effective developers, owners and managers of affordable housing in the country,” said Barry Zigas, chair of the Mercy Housing National Board of Trustees. “Her vision for the organization and commitment to our mission has made a major impact on the affordable housing industry, the communities we serve and the lives of Mercy Housing’s residents.”

“I have been blessed to work alongside so many people in the challenging and dynamic mission that was established by the Sisters more than 30 years ago,” said Sister Lillian. “I have every confidence that Mercy Housing will continue to bring hope to those we serve for many years to come. I also have every confidence that Jane Graf is the right person to lead this effort.”

Graf began her career in nonprofit housing development in Oregon in 1978 and in 1981 she founded Specialized Housing, a statewide nonprofit housing development organization in Oregon to address the housing needs of the developmentally disabled. After relocating to northern California in 1986, Graf joined Catholic Charities in San Francisco. She led their housing work until 1992, when a merger between the housing development department of Catholic Charities and Mercy Housing created Mercy Housing California. Graf became the President of the California region in 1993, and subsequently was named Mercy Housing Chief Operating Officer in 2011 and President in January 2013.

“I am honored and humbled to be next in line for the privilege to serve as the CEO of Mercy Housing, especially as I look back at the lineage of Sister Lillian and Sister Mary Terese Tracey before her. Standing in line beside these two bold and fearless women brings me a sense of strength and energy,” said Graf.

Mercy Housing Mountain Plains

  • Received over $200,000 in gifts, including gifts between $1,000 and $125,000 for Colorado’s resident service programs from the Ludlow- Griffith Foundation, a donor advised fund at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, the Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation, Jacober Kuehner CO Coalition for the Medically Underserved, Venoco, Inc. and Avnet Corporate Giving.

Mercy Housing Lakefront

  • Received $1,052,698 in gifts, including gifts of $25,000 or more from The Boeing Company, Charter One Bank, The Chicago Community Trust, Crown Family Philanthropies, Enterprise Community Partners, Fifth Third Bank, John and Kathleen Schreiber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Northern Trust Company, Pierce & Associates, Polk Bros. Foundation, The Rhoades Foundation, and U.S. Bank.
  • Celebrated the promotion of Cindy Holler to a new role as Senior Vice President of National Real Estate for Mercy Housing. Mark Angelini has been appointed Interim President of Mercy Housing Lakefront. Mark has over 30 years of community development experience and had been serving as the Senior Vice President for Real Estate Development.
  • Provided warm winter coats for 385 children at 850 Eastwood, Pullman Wheelworks and Roseland Village in partnership with Capital One Bank.
  • Helped residents celebrate the holidays with events hosted by volunteers from Bank of America, Beverly Bank, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., Goldstein family, Linden, LLC, McCauley family, Pullman Bank & Trust, and St. Anthony’s Parish.

Mercy Housing California

  • MHC Received over $738,000 in gifts and grants between September and December, including significant contributions from Bank of the West, Carl Gellert & Celia Berta Gellert Foundation, Costco Wholesale, Dignity Health, Enterprise Community Partners, Mercy Foundation, St. Joseph Health, The California Endowment, The San Francisco Foundation, The SCAN Foundation, U.S. Bank, United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Wells Fargo Foundation. On behalf of the MHC board of directors and staff, we are sincerely grateful to these generous corporate and foundation donors for their support of our mission and for helping improve the lives of the residents we serve.

Mercy Housing Northwest

  • Gathered 350 supporters in the grand ballroom at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel for the Power of Home Breakfast. Thanks to our donors and sponsors this year’s annual fundraiser raised $130,000 for our resident programs.
  • Received several grants from longtime funders such as U.S. Bank, the Norcliff Foundation, BECU and the Employees Community Fund of Boeing.
  • Received grants from new funders Alcoa and the Yakima Valley Community Foundation.
  • Started the new year with two brand new playgrounds at the low-income developments of Comstock and Northside in Nampa, Idaho that were funded by the Idaho Women’s. Charitable Foundation.
  • Sold 12 Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) homes back into the low-to moderate-income demographic in Nampa, Idaho. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program purchases foreclosed homes and rehabs them to be energy efficient and sells them to first time homebuyers who qualify. The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation’s Priority Market Grant has supported this program for four years with over $500,000 of cumulative funding. For 2014, MHNW was awarded a $150,000 grant to purchase 13 more NSP homes.

Mercy Loan Fund

  • Partnered with two other certified community development financial institutions (CDFIs), ROC USA Capital and Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund, with a $4 million grant from JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s new CDFI Collaboratives program to expand resident ownership opportunities in affordable manufactured housing communities. This collaboration will help preserve the affordability of these existing homes and help families build financial security.