Harlem United Invests in Communities Through New Health Center, Mobile Vans

Holistic Community Health Center and Harlem United Mobile Vans to Serve More Than 9,000 Homeless, HIV/AIDS Patients

Press Release, JANUARY 28, 2013

Today, Harlem United announced that it secured $9.7 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing, as well as a $500,000 low-cost loan from the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) to build the Holistic Community Health Center and purchase two mobile van units. The Holistic Community Health Center and mobile vans will serve more than 9,000 patients who are homeless and/or living with HIV/AIDS annually in Harlem and underserved neighborhoods of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

The Holistic Community Health Center, a new 14,500 square foot, state-of-the-art health facility at 169 West 133rd Street, will provide medical, dental and mental health services to over 7,000 homeless patients in Central and East Harlem. The project was financed with a $9.75 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation from PCDC. The NMTC program enabled Harlem United to leverage grants from the Robin Hood Foundation and the New York State Department of Health to bring in $2.8 million in equity from JPMorgan Chase, the NMTC investor.

The mobile vans, purchased by Harlem United, will deliver primary care, mental health and dental services to homeless populations throughout Manhattan, the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Coney Island neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the Morris Heights and Hunts Point neighborhoods of the Bronx. The vans will work closely with the mobile harm reduction services that Harlem United has already been providing to the targeted service areas for over 20 years. The project was made possible by an $180,000 New Access Point (NAP) grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The NAP funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, support new access points, or new full-time service delivery sites, which provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care services.

“The Holistic Community Health Center and the mobile vans will help us expand our coverage in Harlem and underserved neighborhoods of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx to meet the complex medical needs of this population,” said Steven C. Bussey, CEO, Harlem United. “We are thrilled to be working again with PCDC, a steadfast partner we have joined forces with on several projects.”

PCDC and Harlem United have now collaborated on four capital projects together. PCDC provided over $6 million in financing to help renovate and expand Harlem United’s two adult day health care facilities, which provide an estimated 31,000 patient visits annually. PCDC has also led several quality improvement projects with Harlem United, including emergency management and business continuity planning, and an initiative to keep people living with HIV/AIDS connected with care. The relationship between the two organizations dates back to 2005.

“Harlem United is a vital provider in the Harlem community and we couldn’t be more excited to accelerate their expansion throughout NYC and some of the most underserved areas of the Bronx and Brooklyn,” said Ronda Kotelchuck, PCDC’s CEO. “This project will allow the organization to enhance services for a population in great need of high-quality, patient-centered primary care.”

A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, PCDC has created investments totaling $415 million for 100 primary care capital projects in underserved communities throughout New York State. This investment has transformed 840,000 square feet of space into fully functioning primary care practices while creating or preserving 1,800 construction jobs and 2,800 permanent jobs. This additional capacity now accommodates an additional 2.2 million medical visits annually by 900,000 underserved New Yorkers.


About Harlem United (www.harlemunited.org): Harlem United is a community-based organization providing a unique continuum of care. Socially and economically disenfranchised people are integrated into a healthy and healing community. Clients are offered access to a full range of medical, social, and supportive services. The majority of these clients are people living with HIV/AIDS whose diagnoses are often complicated by addiction, mental illness, and homelessness. Many have also faced significant barriers to care due to poverty, race, HIV status, and sexual or gender identity.

This “one-stop shop” for services allows Harlem United to treat the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—in a compassionate and supportive environment. The staff works in partnership with the clients at each stage of care: HIV testing; treatment and education; primary medical care; substance use counseling; mental health services; pastoral counseling; and an array of expressive therapies. Through this comprehensive model of care, clients learn to become their own advocates and acquire a new sense of well-being and independence.