Over the years, Merced has become the “go to” place for seniors and disabled persons who need help with health, emergency, and safety repairs.
We started the SOS program in 2002, as a direct response to the needs of residents living in the Denver Heights neighborhood. The program was inspired by Miss Juana Rosa Mercado, an elderly lady who was cheerfully enduring barely livable conditions. She had no running hot water and no heat, not even a working stove. She cooked on a hot plate and heated water for bathing in a crock pot.
With $2,000 of our own funds to match, Merced applied and received $5,000 initial funding from the Dave Coy Foundation administered through the Bank of America. These funds, along with generous in-kind donations of labor and materials, allowed us to repair Miss Mercado’s home.
Today, we have helped create a safer and more livable environment in the homes of more than 527 senior and disabled persons. We target our services to homeowners age 56 and older who make 30% or less of the area median income, or approximately $1,000 a month or less for a senior living alone.
We have found that receiving SOS assistance often restores faith and hope to seniors and disabled persons whose existence has become bleak because of their limited means.
Serve Our Seniors Project, before and after