January 29, 2009

Bigger Bread Ahead: DCPCA grants us $1.35m for expansion

So... we're gonna need a bigger building!

Bread for the City's Northwest medical clinic currently serves 2700 patients, which puts us basically 'at capacity.' We do accept new patients, but our available slots are typically taken within minutes of opening the phone lines every morning. Our medical staff is great at running things as efficiently as possible, but there's no denying that the conditions in our clinic are cramped and not optimal for providing truly quality primary care.

Likewise, as all of our other programs have been growing at a fast clip ever since we moved into our building in 1994, every department suffers for space. Our social workers must have sensitive conversations with clients in small rooms off crowded hallways; our food pantry currently doubles as a storage closet; the less said about our legal clinic's desk-spaces the better; meanwhile, Bread for the City's humble accountants and bloggers and assorted pencil-pushers are out-housed up the street in an office that this humble blogger will gingerly describe as such: :-/

We need more space -- and fortunately, the DC Primary Care Association has stepped up to provide the hefty seed money for a major expansion of our facility. A new and nifty medical clinic is the centerpiece of the expansion: it will have twice as many visitation rooms, specially-equipped for specialty care and almost tripling our capacity to serve the community.

It was recently announced (press release PDF here!) that we'll receive $1.35 million for the expansion as part of the DCPCA's Medical Homes DC initiative, which is funded in part by the Government of the District of Columbia. Through Medical Homes DC, $30 million is being distributed to community health organizations like Bread for the City. We'd already received a commitment of $2.975m from the DCPCA; this additional funding puts us over the halfway mark of our capital campaign.

That's an $8.5 million dollar capital campaign; hefty to be sure, so expect to hear more about it on this blog. Right now, you can check out the plans for the new building (and images of our former centers). You can also jump right in and join our capital campaign with a donation today!

And looking ahead, you should note the groundbreaking for construction on the new center: March 25th at 8AM (rain or shine). We'd love to have you come join us! (RSVP @ rsvp@breadforthecity.org)

Many thanks to the DCPCA for making this possible. Along with the generous and compassionate support of our community, we're going to take a major step forward to meet the great need for health care and other critical services in DC.

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