Advantage Health Centers in Detroit serves the city’s uninsured, homeless, and medically underserved residents. When AHC was ready to build a new facility on the iconic 8 Mile Road in Warren, Michigan, it received a $1.9 million federal grant. But grant funds went toward buying and renovating a building in this traditionally low-income and underserved community, and AHC’s funding for the project fell $300,000 short.
To fill this gap, the health care provider turned to Capital Impact Partners. The CDFI, which is working block by block with its partners to revitalize Detroit, helped finance a new building that has enabled AHC to expand into an area of the city where 90 percent of the people live at or below the poverty level.
Opened in 2013, the new Warren center provides a “front door” of care to Detroit’s east side, a predominantly African-American, Bangladeshi, Muslim, and Eastern European community. Without AHC’s services for children and adults—which include preventative and sick care, gynecology, screenings, prescription assistance, substance abuse, and mental health treatment—most residents would have otherwise gone untreated or waited until symptoms forced them to visit an emergency room.
Says Joe Ferguson, AHC executive director, “The east side has been devastated by the demise of automotive jobs. Poverty often brings with it behavioral issues, such as depression and substance abuse. We’re able to address the needs of people with physical and mental problems, as well as support lifestyle management.” He goes on to say about the new center that features 23 treatment rooms. “We couldn’t have done it without Capital Impact. They provided the last piece of critical funding.”