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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.
August 23, 2019, Seattle, Washington – Six Adrian Dominican Sisters were among more than 200 attendees at the Mercy Magnuson Place Grand Opening on August 10. The spirit was upbeat as organizers gave recognition to the many people who made this 148-unit facility for low- and middle-income families possible.
Attending Adrian Dominican Sisters were Mary Sullivan, OP, Janice Holkup, OP, Cele Gorman, OP, Claudia Morgan, OP, Sharon Park, OP, and Judy Byron, OP.
The story goes back to 1992, when Sisters in the Seattle area took the initiative to create Mercy Housing Northwest (MHNW), an organization dedicated to providing homes for low-Income families, senior citizens, the formerly homeless, and people with special needs. Today, MHNW has 54 properties that are home to more than 5,000 residents in Washington State.
The new apartment complex, located on Lake Washington where the former U.S. Naval barracks had sat vacant for 20 years, will support the residents with early childhood education and day care services, after-school tutoring, adult education classes, a health clinic, and a food bank.
The formal program included comments by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin, who was educated by the Society of the Sacred Heart; Washington State House Representative Frank Chopp, who had been educated by the Edmonds Dominican Sisters – which since merged with the Adrian Dominican Sisters – in Bremerton, Washington; and Bill Rumpf, President of MHNW. They praised the Sisters for their vision and dedication.
Attending the grand opening are: standing, from left, Sisters Jocie Chism, SNJM, Mary Sullivan, OP, Janice Holkup, OP, and Georgia Yianakulis, SNJM; Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan; and Sisters Linda Haydock, SNJM, Judy Byron, OP, Cele Gorman, OP, and Claudia Morgan, OP; and kneeling, from left, Sisters Linda Riggers, SNJM and Teresa Shields, SNJM. Sister Sharon Park, OP, is not pictured.