October 15, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: DLA Piper

I am constantly inspired by all of Bread for the City’s volunteers. But in the past year especially, I have been struck by how inspirational—even heroic—corporate tax assistance can be.

Two years ago, I phoned DLA Piper partner, David Krohn, to discuss Bread for the City’s longtime plan of expanding our Northwest Center. (At 9500 square feet, it can just barely accommodate the 2,500 families who come each month to our Northwest Center seeking food, medical, legal, and social services.) I shared with David our vision of an expanded center — more than twice our current size, with modernized facilities and improved common spaces. I explained that we had already secured a $5,000,000 grant from the DC Primary Care Association. However, the project would cost $6,800,000 altogether. We still needed additional capital.

David began exploring. Through his diligent work, we discovered that a new kind of federal tax credits, the so-called New Market Tax Credits, could be the answer to that $1.8 million gap. The New Markets Tax Credit Program is a federal program that provides tax credits for private investment in economically distressed communities.

Given that Bread for the City’s expansion will nearly triple our capacity to provide medical care to the uninsured and underinsured of our community, this project qualified for the program. And with tremendously generous effort on David’s part, that has made all the difference in securing the additional funding that we required.

I am thrilled that construction on our building is only weeks away. Our vision is finally coming to fruition. It is with tremendous pride and gratitude that I say it would not have been possible without the assistance and generosity of David Krohn and DLA Piper.

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