It’s been more than two years since construction started on the former Holy Rosary School in East Erie.

“We were able to take a 39,000 square foot building and turn it into 13, two bedroom, completely furnished apartments, along with other opportunities as well,” Mercy Center for Women Executive Director, Jennie Hagerty told Erie News Now. 

Once the newly named Mercy Anchor Community Center is complete, the Mercy Center for Women will be able to help double the amount of families they help now. “We're all about giving second chances and keeping individuals in housing and off the streets,” said Hagerty. 

Several renovation projects of this size have been delayed or even canceled because of the rising cost of materials. The Mercy Center says they were lucky because the contractors they’re working with purchases all building materials before the pandemic began. Otherwise, they may be in a very different situation now. 

“Not only did it save us financially, it also provided us to stick to our timeline, which is a big help, especially when you're dealing with collaborative partners, not to mention housing more individuals who definitely need the housing opportunity,” said Hagerty. 

The old Holy Rosary School will hopefully start housing women in Fall of 2022. The executive director is hoping to get more American Rescue Plan Money, so they can keep more women and children safe.

“It's critically important because it allows us to survive. What people don't tend to realize is the grant monies, donor contributions that come in- make a difference, provide opportunites, and keep the doors open,” she said. 

To donate to the Mercy Center for Women, and learn more about the organization, click here