On this day, we drive up to Chicago and visit some of the Mercy Housing facilities that we’re helping. The first stop is in Englewood, with 99 single‐room occupancy apartments and on‐site social services. A few of the residents join us in a ride to Lake Michigan, talking about their stories along the way. We ride up the lakeshore and cut over to Wabash to the South Loop Apartments, a 207 unit facility. A small reception is organized where we each talk about our experience on the ride thus far. Additionally, some residents are taking up a fitness challenge, and talk about their experiences. It was a great event to be part of.
After the reception and talks, we then go back to the lakeshore path with some of the Mercy staff and ride up to the Harold Washington Apartments, which includes 69 units of permanent supportive housing including 65 studios and four one-bedroom apartments. We meet and talk to the staff.
I’ve been to several of the facilities before. They are all impressive, and not just from an architectural standpoint. Clean, respectful and supportive. Clearly residents take pride in their units and the facility. Imagine finally not having to move with your kids every year to a different place, just trying to make ends meet. Imagine the place you live having facilities and supportive services that get you back on your feet.
My son Mark is going off to a two week Boy Scout Camp and won’t rejoin the group because, well we’ll be done by then. Matthew is going to a different camp, but his schedule will allow him to rejoin the group later. Their assistance and presence will be missed. I’m going to try my hand at directions for the first couple of days. Weeks before the ride, Jim went solo to the east for 4 days and gave some useful input as well. Listening to his stories of his solo ride, we hope we have a little better luck than he did.
To see a real nice video put together by Mercy Housing during our visit on this day, click on: mercyRIDERS in Chicago