A sudden bounty of donations has ensured that the Washington Free Clinic, the oldest low-cost clinic in the city, will remain open through the summer and probably through the rest of the year.
The small nonprofit organization in Mount Pleasant feared it would have to shut down by the middle of this month because of the loss of more than $375,000 in federal funding for its HIV/AIDS care and case management -- a huge fraction of its $1.2 million annual budget. The staff learned with only two weeks' notice that funding it had received for nearly a decade would not be renewed.
Contributions as small as $10, from a clinic volunteer, and as large as $50,000, from Kaiser Permanente, have made the difference, development director Kara Mullen said. Private family foundations agreed to assist the clinic, as did a nearby Unitarian church and a pharmaceutical company.
As of last week, the organization had received $135,000, Mullen said, and a second grant from Kaiser, pledged with the requirement that it be matched, would raise $100,000 more.
"It's so needed, and so great," Mullen said.
The clinic, with a staff of 13 and a volunteer corps of 50, provides health care to about 1,450 children and adults a year.