From small beginnings come great things
In the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of individuals with mental illness were released from St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital and into the streets of DC with minimal follow-up treatment, professional or life skills, jobs, or housing. Their distress was often misread as threatening, resulting in their incarceration. The Reverend Doctor Jack E. McClendon, a long-time pastor at the New York Ave. Presbyterian Church, realized something had to be done. So, in 1980, the church began its social outreach mission, and McClendon Center was born.
In 2003, McClendon Center became legally independent of the church by incorporating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and was later certified by the DC Department of Behavioral Health as a Specialty Provider of Rehabilitation/Day Services. Year after year, we’ve continued to expand our services. Today, we employ a whole person-centered approach to mental health treatment that addresses a host of social issues, including: housing and food insecurity, access to quality health care, and stigma, prejudice and lack of social interaction.
McClendon Center begins as a social outreach mission of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (NYAPC). The Center is named for its founder, the Reverend Doctor Jack E. McClendon, a longtime Assistant Pastor at the church who envisioned the need for community-based care subsequent to the national movement to deinstitutionalize individuals from state psychiatric hospitals, which includes Saint Elizabeths Hospital.
The Center is first accredited for a 3-year period by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations as an outpatient behavioral health care organization.
McClendon Center becomes legally independent by incorporating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization. The Center’s administrative staff and day program continue to be housed in the church, reflecting a family atmosphere for clients, staff and visitors.
McClendon Center is certified by the DC Department of Mental Health as a Core Services Agency, as well as a Specialty Provider of Rehabilitation/Day Services. In September, we begin operating a Medicaid Day Treatment Program under the auspices of the DC Department of Health Care Finance.
As the Center expands its services, a second location on North Capitol Street is established housing our Core Services Agency (CSA) staff, which includes medical staff, counselors and therapists, and Community Support Specialists (CSS).
The Center’s Core Services Agency expands again when DC closed its government-operated mental health centers. The Center begins partnering with George Washington University by hosting third and fourth year psychiatry residents seeking an opportunity to practice in a community setting.
McClendon Center celebrates 30 years of providing services for individuals with mental illness in the District of Columbia. Long-time Executive Director, Dick Davis, retires after 28 years of service. Dennis Hobb, the Center’s program director, was named as the new Executive Director.
The Center hosts its first-ever fundraising event with clients staging performances at Busboys and Poets in the busy U Street corridor. The Center earns the highest score (91 percent) on first District of Columbia Mental Health Provider Scorecard by the District’s Department of Mental Health. The Center continues to earn Four Star ratings in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
A Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) is formed, giving our clients a regular forum to have a direct say in McClendon Center services.
McClendon Center earns its first 5 Star Rating with an overall score of 98 percent, on the District’s Mental Health Provider Scorecard by the DC Department of Behavioral Health (DBH). This is the highest score ever achieved by any DC provider.
McClendon Center announces its amended and newly-expanded mission statement in response to continued growth.