Mercy health wants to help upgrade the neighborhood surrounding Mercy St. V's. and it's willing to help employees buy homes in the area in an effort to do that. "We have to have home ownership, people are vested in the community once they own homes, we have to get back to that point," says Matt Sapara, who is the Vice President for Economic Development for Mercy Health. The best way to do that is to offer the financial incentives to Mercy employees who work at St. V's every day.
The Mercy Health Employee Assisted Housing Program provides $5,000 grants to purchase a home with a 5-year forgivable note. There are no income restrictions other than secured employment with Mercy Health and in good standing. The homes must be purchased in the Cherry Street Legacy Neighborhood.
"We're looking about 270 employees that live in the immediate area around Mercy Health St. V's and Mercy Children's Hospital and we want to see those numbers go up," says Tom Kroma from Mercy's Economic Development Department. They are also extending the offer to Toledo Police, Toledo Fire, Center Catholic and Toledo Public School Employees. "The Police and Fire are in our hospital every day, taking care of patients with us," says Jeff Dempsey, President and CEO of Mercy St. V's and Mercy Children's hospital. "We have close to 3,000 people that work in the community and to create opportunities for people that work in the community to live in the community will instantly build strength," says Kevin Dalton, the President of the Toledo Federation of Teachers Union.