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St. Catherine Residence Transfer to Hope House

For more than 125 years, St. Catherine Residence has provided women of diverse talents and needs in Milwaukee with stable, affordable housing for as long – or as brief – a period as they need it. Thousands of residents have benefited from this flexibility as St. Catherine Residence has played a vital role in the local continuum of care, providing not only a safe haven during times of need, but a launching pad to the next chapters in their lives. Since 2013, Mercy Housing Lakefront (MHL) has proudly maintained this legacy after being entrusted with it by the Sisters of Mercy.

Today, we’re writing you with exciting news about St. Catherine Residence’s next chapter.

On September 1, 2021, Mercy Housing Lakefront will transfer St. Catherine Residence to Hope House of Milwaukee, which will ensure the long-term sustainability of the property as a flexible housing option for women in need of a safe, stable place to live. The decision to do so was made thoughtfully, and with the best interests of St. Catherine Residence, its residents, and the City of Milwaukee in mind.

When Mercy Housing Lakefront assumed operations of St. Catherine Residence in 2013, the organization did so to prevent a vital community asset from disappearing. The Sisters of Mercy were ready to pass the baton after many years, and there was a real possibility that St. Catherine Residence would cease to exist without a mission-driven operator committed to its long-term survival.

Hope House is perfectly suited to maintain St. Catherine Residence’s mission as a transitional housing option and, with extensive experience as a partner of ours providing services at the property, the organization is well versed in the needs of residents. Residents will not be impacted in any way by the handoff, which was the highest priority during discussions about St. Catherine Residence’s future. As part of the transfer of St. Catherine Residence to Hope House, Mercy Housing Lakefront is providing capital needed for upcoming building maintenance, ensuring a smooth transition that further strengthens the property and provides residents with a high-quality environment in which to live.

Moving forward, Hope House of Milwaukee and Mercy Housing Lakefront will continue to partner to strengthen the continuum of housing options for Milwaukee residents. Mercy Housing Lakefront still operates McAuley Apartments next door, and we envision a future in which both organizations will work together to create a pipeline for St. Catherine residents, when ready, to transition into permanent housing at McAuley Apartments or other Mercy Housing Lakefront communities in the city.

We believe this is the best possible outcome for residents, both organizations, and Milwaukee, and we’re grateful for your support for our collective mission to transform lives and strengthen communities. Without your support, it would not have been possible for Mercy Housing Lakefront to stay true to St. Catherine Residence’s mission in the past eight years without generous supporters in the community, nor would it have been possible for Hope House to evolve to the point it’s at today, ready to take on the mission of St. Catherine Residence as its own.

In hope,

Mark Angelini Wendy Weckler
Mercy Housing Lakefront
Executive Director
Hope House Milwaukee


About St. Catherine Residence

Located at 1032 E. Knapp St. on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side, the mission of St. Catherine Residence is to ensure flexible, affordable and supportive housing to low-income women of diverse talents and needs who aspire to maximize their personal growth and employment opportunities. Founded in 1894 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Catherine Residence provides short- and long-term leases for up to 164 women in suite-style apartments, with shared baths and community kitchens.


About Mercy Housing Lakefront

Mercy Housing Lakefront (MHL), the Great Lakes region’s largest nonprofit provider of service-enriched housing, is committed to creating affordable homes and inspiring dreams. The organization works with residents to establish engaged, strong, and inclusive communities. MHL owns and operates 52 properties in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, serving more than 8,000 people annually. MHL is a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc. Please find additional information at


About Hope House

It is the mission of Hope House to end homelessness and create healthy communities. Hope House is a non-profit emergency homeless shelter and rapid rehousing facility as well as a true community center located in the near south side of Milwaukee. Opened in 1987, Hope House was created to provide a safe, temporary refuge for people needing a place to sleep. Over the years, Hope House has evolved into a complete provider of services for homeless and low-income individuals. In addition to residential services, Hope House provides community outreach to individuals needing health care, food distribution, financial assistance, and educational opportunities for adults and children.