U.S. Bank and Denver-based Mercy Housing today kicked off a partnership to provide free school supplies and ongoing financial education to families and individuals living at Mercy Housing properties in Denver and three other cities this summer. The national program, modeled after partnership between U.S. Bank and Mercy Housing Lakefront in Chicago, begins with an event on Saturday, July 27at Mercy’s Bluff Lake Apartments in Denver. U.S. Bank employees will give away backpacks and school supplies to 70 students at the apartment complex. Bank employees will then return to the property in the fall to offer residents a series of financial education seminars for all ages. U.S. Bank and Mercy Housing will host similar events in upcoming weeks at Mercy Housing properties in Boise, Chicago and Seattle. U.S. Bank has a long history of helping Mercy support communities by providing program-enriched affordable housing for those in need. Over the past decade, U.S. Bank has committed more than $275 million to Mercy in the form of loans and tax credit equity. The bank has also provided more than $600,000 in grants and corporate contributions. In addition, bank employees across the country have served as board members for Mercy. U.S. Bank was also the first bank investor in the Mercy Loan Fund, launched in 2005 to provide access to capital for nonprofits to bring affordable housing to communities. “Whether we’re funding new developments and programs or volunteering as board members, we have a long history of supporting Mercy Housing,” said Hassan Salem, Denver market president for U.S. Bank. “We’re thrilled to now be able to give back to Denver families during an exciting, but often expensive time of year.” In 2011, U.S. Bank provided a $22 million financing package, which included a $10 million construction loan, $2 million first mortgage and more than $10 million in a tax credit equity investment, to pave the way for Mercy to develop the 92-unit Bluff Lake Apartments.