November 29, 2016
Mazzoni Center, an LGBTQ health and well-being center in Center City Philadelphia, has received an award of $1.5 million to will support the purchase and renovation of a building at Broad and Bainbridge streets to serve as the agency's new home next summer.
The award from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is the largest one-time gift in the history of the center and the largest state award to an organization with an LGBTQ-focused mission. The grant demonstrates the growing commitment and collaboration between the state and the LGBTQ community, the center said in a statement.
The project calls for the internal demolition, an addition of 10,000 square feet and an upgrade of the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, paint, data and furnishings of 1328-1338 Bainbridge. The new building will increase by more than 30 percent the center’s capacity to meet the growing health care needs of the LGBT population.
"By expanding our physical capacity and reducing overhead costs," said Mazzoni CEO Nurit Shein, "the new building will enable us to provide essential, life-changing care and services to the individuals who need us most, to innovate and meet the increased demand for our various services, and to manage our internal growth in a sustainable way."
Mazzoni Center launched as an all-volunteer clinic serving the city's LGBTQ communities in 1979. It now employs 136 people and offers more than 30 programs and services, including primary medical care, transgender-specific care, behavioral health, case management and HIV prevention/education.
Shein thanked Governor Tom Wolf, state Senator Larry Farnese and state Representative Brian Sims for their public support of Mazzoni's mission and the grant request.
Currently Mazzoni Center operates out of three locations; two are severely crowded, with no room to expand.
"These funds are a much welcomed support as we embark on our major gifts campaign," said Mark Blecher, M.D., chair of Mazzoni's building committee, in a statement. "With the RACP grant, we have secured over $3.8 million, and we are closing the gap to our goal of $6 million by 2022."