SOME and D.C. leaders break ground on The Conway Center, first building in city to combine housing, healthcare and job training in one location
So Others Might Eat (SOME) and leaders from the District’s government, business and charitable communities came together at 4430 Benning Road, N.E., Washington, DC, for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction for a new building that will bring new hope to the city’s homeless and low income families and single adults. The mixed-use, LEED-certified building will be owned and operated by SOME and feature 202 units of affordable housing, an expanded SOME Center for Employment Training, and a Medical and Dental Health Center operated by Unity Health Care. The building, expected to open in 2017, is located directly across the street from the Benning Road Metro.
“This will be the first facility in the District of Columbia to offer homeless and low-income women, children and men safe affordable housing, job training and health care, all in one place.” said Fr. John Adams, SOME president. “It is a natural evolution of SOME’s holistic and comprehensive approach to serving homeless and low-income individuals and families.”
SOME has been working with local and national public and private partners and raising funds through its Building Hope Capital Campaign to create this first-of-its-kind project. The building is named in honor of Joanne Conway and SOME’s Building Hope campaign chair William E. Conway, Jr.
Since the Building Hope campaign officially launched 2 years ago, SOME has raised $16.7 million of the $20 million dollars needed to leverage approximately $70 million in approved public funding, tax credits, tax exempt bonds and low- interest loans. Over $3 million in capital funds are still needed.
Donations to Building Hope can be made at http://capitalcampaign.some.org/give/.
Once construction is completed, The Conway Center will:
- Provide safe, dignified, supportive housing to over 200 homeless and very low-income families in D.C.
- Treat more than 10,000 underserved patients a year with medical and dental health care
- Serve over 300 D.C. residents every year with employment training, through SOME’s Center for Employment Training, which will be moved to this building
There is a critical need for the services that will be provided at The Conway Center. Approximately half of D.C.’s affordable housing has disappeared over the past decade, nearly 30,000 D.C. residents are unemployed and almost half of primary and mental health care needs in the District are not being met.
“SOME is best suited to develop this project because they understand that both place and people matter,” said Oramenta Newsome, program vice president of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a nonprofit dedicated to helping community residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity. “SOME has a long interest of bringing quality housing and a myriad of resources that improve the quality of life of its clientele and add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood.”
“We hope this development will bring other businesses to the area,” said Linda Jo Smith, chair of SOME’s Board of Directors. “Benning Road is central to Ward 7, and the site will go from being vacant to having a beautiful building where people will be able to get medical care, have safe housing and get job training. SOME is really looking out for people in Ward 7 and the city as a whole.”