Mercy Housing provides affordable housing and various services to refugees and immigrants. As of right now, Grace Apartments has 53 units mostly filled with extended families, such as grandparents and uncles living together under the same roof. Grace Apartments is currently composed of 43% Burmese and 43%-44% Bhutanese or Nepali refugees and immigrants. The remaining groups come from East African nations such as Burundi and the Congo, and there are also some Mexican families. There are 325 people who live at Grace. Of those, there are 130 kids.
Grace Apartments is partnering with UHL in order to provide stimulating and diverse programs for the residents. This ranges from assisting with homework help to creating special programming, like skateboarding or Bollywood dancing. There is also a need for volunteers with the adult services, such as financial literacy and social skills. While there has to be a stable commitment to show up, students can craft a program to their strengths and interests.
The main goal of the after-school programs is to provide support in education, but to also give stability to the students. There are two core goals. The first one is community development. Grace Apartments wants to be a safe, welcoming space that people can take pride in. The second core goal is integration. Not only does Grace want people to meet and mingle with others who come from similar backgrounds, they also want people to open up and see the great diversity around them.
There will be two on-site orientations. The first one will be on Tuesday the 4th from 4:30-5:30. For those who can't make that meeting, there will be another orientation the week after. For more information, please contact Cynthia Joseph at Cynthia.Joseph@ucdenver.edu.