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TMCNet:  Center for underserved will open new facility in February

[January 09, 2013]

Center for underserved will open new facility in February

DAYTON, Jan 10, 2013 (Dayton Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Construction delays have shut down operations of The Good Neighbor House until next month and delayed the opening of the community healthcare and human services center's new home at 627 E. First St., according to center officials.

The faith-based nonprofit that provides dental, nutritional and human services for the underserved had been headquartered at 844 S. Patterson Blvd. for 18 years but shut its doors in mid-November to prepare for a move to the First Street location, which is about a block away from Fifth Third Field.

"The goal is to expand the services that we are offering to the community to meet the current need because our needs have changed. The community's needs have changed," said Cassandra Ways, the center's executive director.

"The plan was to shut down for about two weeks, get everything moved in, get operations started back up and begin serving clients," said Tiffany Collie, the center's development director.

The center, which launched a $1.9 million capital campaign in December 2011, received more than $250,000 in in-kind construction materials and labor for the renovation of the new facility.

"When they are doing it for free, you have to go on their schedule," Collie said. "We don't mind, the more that we could take off our $1.9 million (capital campaign amount). It helps everybody, because we would be able to provide more services for our clients and not have to worry about having a lot of debt going into the building." In December, The Dayton Foundation awarded the center a $25,000 discretionary grant to go toward the renovation.

Since a large portion of the center is dedicated to providing dental care, the renovation plans include increasing the number of dental chairs from two to four.

The grant money will allow the center to free up some money to offer its Special Dietary Need Food Pantry and help create a new food pantry that will allow human services clients to have more freedom in food choices.

The center also offers clothing for the homeless and household items, eye care and medical services for the underserved.

"The majority of our patients are working, but they are making minimum wage and can't afford the cost of going to the doctor's office without insurance," Collie said.

Premier Heatlh Partners purchased the Patterson location in October for $365,000. The center's six paid staffers are currently working at satellite locations.

The center still has approximately $325,000 to raise, Collie said.

"I'm confident that when we open our doors, the community will be very pleased," Ways said.

___ (c)2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) Visit the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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