MERCY HOUSING INC
April 30, 2011
As a former resident of the Holland Apartments in Chicago, Illinois, I am very concerned about the rating that you have given Mercy Housing. I sued them in court for failing to attach the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance to my lease for five years and won. It was their common practice not to do this as they did not want to inform the residents of their legal rights. The staff was engaged in sexual relationships with the residents. I reported this. Nothing happened. I was approached for sex by staff and was told that the staff and residents had a wager on who would have sex with me first. Ridiculous! I was personally attacked by a staff member/resident in front of four other staff members, including the Manager of Case Management, Fred Bradley and the Property Manager Renee (can't recall last name), and they just stood there and watched. Later, Mr. Bradley denied his presence. When I filed a police report, the Asst. State 's Attorney said that there were no witnesses present and would not file charges. The residents were given rotten fruit and vegetables to eat. The staff took the best fruit and vegetables home with them. The same with donated clothing. It's a shame! I was denied services by case manager, Sheila Rivers . I reported it. She took off a couple of weeks and then things went back to normal. Drugs were being sold and used in the building regularly. I called 911. There were no reports filed even when they found the crack pipe. Several people died in their apartments. Their were bugs everywhere because the bodies had been there for awhile. No one did anything at first. Later they cleaned up and covered it up. Staff did not check on residents when asked to do so by other residents. My name was forged on several documents that were used to bill for services that the City of Chicago was to pay for. I did not receive those services. I refused to sign the documents because if I did not receive the supportive services, why should I sign saying that I did? The signature wasn't even close to my own. I reported it and was told that I was not to have access to any files in the future. I reported them to the City for failing to provide hot water. When we appeared in court, the suit was dropped by the City because they had by that time, three weeks later, resolved the problem. On and on, they were a terrible landlord. I even contacted the CEO a few ti She did not respond. When I reported the local staff to the corporate leadership, I was tomes to inform her of what was ccuringld that the leadership team did not like receiving complaints about the local staff. I even wrote my Congressman, Jesse Jackson ,Jr. on at least three occasions, and his office asked me to contact the Board of Directors of Mercy Housing which I did not do. I grew tired of complaining about things and not getting any results. I had never been treated so poorly in my life and expected to take it and act as if it was normal. Many of the residents thought so little of themselves, and felt that if they said anything, they would lose their housing. There was so much fear and it was justified. They had threatened me too, but I knew my legal rights and would act anyway. Yet, they will blame their residents while HUD, the State of Illinois , and the City of Chicago will look the other way. They do not deserve the high rating that you have given them. No resident will talk about the problems without fear of reprisals. I ask you to please consider what I am saying here. Thank you for your time and attention.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
As a resident, I experienced what happens when a organization has a great mission statement, but does not practice it on a day-to-day basis. It's very unfortunate. If your actions do not line up to your words, what do yo have? I was not told when I applied for housing that the building was focused on drug and alcohol dependent individuals. If I had been told that, I would not have applied. I had bad credit and very limited funds, and thought that this was the solution to my problem. It just wasn't.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Request that the staff be allowed to make decisions and mistakes and work toward correcting them. I would require honesty and transparency in every area of operation, and I would hold all managers accountable and responsible for helping residents to mover forward with their lives within 36 months. II would request that top leaders consider and execute one resident change per six months. I would work to make the resident's living experience one that could not be matched by a similar housing facility.
How would you describe the help you got from this organization?
How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?
How do you feel you were treated by this organization?
How did you find this group?
At a job fair on the West Side of Chicago.
What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?
To avoid non-profit housing organizations at all cost if I ever find myself in need of housing assistance again. And to not make donations of cash or clothing without seeing a direct benefit to the clients they say they serve. I give my clothing directly to former prostitutes now, not to the social service organization, Genesis House. I know that those who really need them have them.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Client Served & I was a resident.