By Sister Judy Byron, OP
Director, Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment
June 1, 2020, Seattle, Washington – Mercy Housing Northwest broke ground on Cedar Crossing, a new 254-apartment affordable housing development that includes 87 two- and three-bedroom apartments.
Cedar Crossing will provide affordable homes to families making between 0% and 60% of the area median income and who struggle to find affordable housing options. A public plaza will create a sense of place in the neighborhood and provide pedestrian access to the light rail station. The building will also feature a playground, social service offices, ground floor retail, and a large community room for celebrations and gatherings.
In a partnership with Mary’s Place and Children’s Hospital, 20 apartments will be set aside for families simultaneously experiencing homelessness and caring for children with a chronic health condition. El Centro de La Raza will run a multi-cultural, bilingual affordable childcare on site, with capacity to serve 68 children.
Gardner House, a brand new community with 95 affordable and supportive apartments, and the Allen Family Resource Center for families experiencing homelessness, were welcoming new residents just as Washington State was shut down for COVID-19. Since over 20 of the apartments are for families coming out of homelessness, Mercy Housing staff found a way to move in the families.
Mercy Housing was founded more than 25 years ago by five religious communities in the Northwest – including the Edmonds Dominicans, now Adrian Dominicans – in response to their dream of ending homelessness and creating resilient communities.
Feature photo: A family in Appian Way, an apartment building for families and seniors in Kent, Washington.
May 29, 2020, Adrian, Michigan – Through the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, of which the Congregation is a part, the Adrian Dominican Sisters join more than 100 national faith leaders – from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions, representing major denominations, national faith-based organizations, local congregations, and millions of people of faith across the country – to call for a National Day of Mourning and Lament to mark the death of more than 100,000 people in the United States from COVID-19.
The faith leaders call on federal, state, and local elected officials to observe Monday, June 1, as National Day of Mourning and Lament – a day marked by moments of silence, lowering of flags, interfaith vigils, ringing of bells, and civic memorials.
The call is being supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, who represent over 1,400 mayors across the country. Mayors lead on the frontline of the COVID-19 response effort and continue to model critical local leadership in this difficult time.
Together, interfaith leaders and mayors across the nation call us to mourn, lament, and honor the dead, acknowledge the unequal nature of our suffering, pray together for the healing of the nation, and recommit to the difficult work ahead.
“We pray in a special way for the nearly 5,400 Michiganders who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and their heartbroken families,” said Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. “This call for mourning and lamentation must also become a call to action to address the racial inequities revealed by the pandemic,” she said. In Michigan, over 40% of COVID-19 deaths are suffered by African Americans who only comprise 14% of the population. Nationwide, Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans and other people of color disproportionately suffer the effects of the pandemic.
“We applaud Governor Whitmer for creating the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities charged with addressing the racial injustices that were amplified by the virus,” said Sister Siemen. “Her steadfast leadership in maintaining strong state guidelines to protect Michiganders against the coronavirus is now needed, as we emerge from this crisis, to ensure that the lives of all Michiganders are honored and protected.”
The National Day of Mourning and Lament will follow a weekend of diverse services – Friday Muslim, Saturday Jewish, and Sunday Christian (including Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American) all united in times of lament and mourning for the dead. The vocation of remembering will unite across lines of religion and traditions and transcend our politics.