We are going out into the community more often, slowly increasing our in person contact with our clients. We continue to follow all health and safety guidelines and offer gloves, masks and barriers for cars for transporting clients when necessary. We know that as the pandemic is prolonged our work is needed more than ever. Loneliness and isolation are difficult for everyone – but for our clients it is more difficult, and in some cases can even be life threatening. For some we are their only lifeline, and there is no substitute for person to person contact. So with safety in mind, we continue to meet client’s needs.

We also look for the good things that come from adversity. As we have been reporting the Day Program has been expanding since it went online in May. Out of necessity we formed several daily programs virtually – many in local group homes. As the word spread so did our outreach. But something wonderful and unexpected happened too. There were residents, which for various reason​s, would not have been able to attend the in person Day Program in the past. For some, mobility due to illness or age would have been an obstacle. But that is no longer the case. This week we served two clients that are both receiving chemotherapy treatments for cancer. They are weakened by their treatments but able to come and spend time in our virtual Day Program and enjoy the community and care provided there. In the past they would not have been able to get in a van and travel to our in person Day Program. It simply would have been too much for them physically. The need to maintain this virtual service is clear. We will advocate for the ability to hold these groups in the future – even after we are able to return in person. Offering both in person and virtual Day Programs will allow us to serve multiple clients in the way most effective for each of them. Meeting the need often means meeting people where they are –both figuratively and literally.

Thank you for your continued support – and for being part of the McClendon Center community. We are grateful you are!

Meet Sandra – she is a McClendon Center artist and client. At MCC she learned that being creative is a way to express herself and to work through the uncertainty and loneliness of quarantine during Covid19.

When the in person Day Program closed due to the pandemic Sandra didn’t let that stop her from continuing to paint and create. She shared with us some of the pieces she has been working on over the past few months. We are sure you are as impressed as we are that she continued her art despite the challenges of quarantine. She is currently enrolled in the virtual Day Program that has been expanding since it went online in May. She will join the online classes this week. Since beginning the Virtual Day Program in May, there have been many changes and improvements as we use technology to bridge the gap and problem solve. Day Program staff are currently facilitating 84 groups per week. Staff continue to expand the program by training some clients to use their smartphones to connect via Zoom or by adding another platform: Google Duo. The addition of Google Duo allows us to reach eleven more clients who live independently and couldn’t take part in the group home sessions.  Other obstacles included access to computers. The program began using laptop computers, but in July MCC donated desktop computers with large monitors and higher quality cameras to 5 of our 8 locations. This allowed for an improved group experience as clients are now able to see the screens more clearly and interact with one another more easily. Utilizing the technology available and fine-tuning when necessary allows us to provide a sense of routine and a structured experience to more clients – both new and existing. Staying regularly connected to one another is vital for everyone during this time of isolation.

The work we do at McClendon Center is not always ordinary. When we are looking for new team members we are seeking an out of the ordinary kind of person. Often the job requires staff to think outside the box. A great example of this kind of caring happened a few years ago when a client didn’t want to receive hospital care because it meant leaving their dog unattended. The McClendon Center staff member promised to walk the dog herself until she was able to coordinate care with a neighbor. Relieved, the client received the necessary care knowing her four legged family member was taken care of – and the standard at McClendon Center unofficially became ‘are you willing to walk the dog?’

 

While our primary goal is to help with mental health care more often than not it also means assisting with housing, other types of healthcare related issues, substance abuse, and more. Even getting basic forms completed to be eligible to receive care is an obstacle. Imagine experiencing homelessness and losing your belongings and documents. Without a birth certificate you cannot get an ID. Without an ID you cannot receive benefits for care or fill out any type of application. Obtaining those kinds of essential documents can be a challenging web for some of our clients – and is something we routinely help our clients with.

We also help to restore dignity. Last year there was a young man who was regularly attending the Day Program but seemed withdrawn. Staff noticed his clothes were torn and often dirty. The fix was simple; two McClendon Center staff member along with the young man hopped into an Uber and set off to Target. He was given $150 to buy the clothes and shoes he wanted. When he returned to the Day Program in his new attire the transformation was noticeable and it wasn’t just on the outside – though he often pointed out his new outfits with pride. He became more engaged and outgoing and began to thrive. In some ways it’s hard to tell who was more pleased – the deserving client or the staff members who could make such a simple yet significant gesture possible. There are countless other examples I could give of this level of caring.

Even before the Covid 19 crisis we were finding solutions outside the expected ways of doing things. This client first way of solution solving is what sets us apart and makes us particularly adaptable during crisis. We are determined to continue this level of individual care and caring – with your support.

In the midst of the constant change and uncertainty that everyone is experiencing McClendon Center is doing what it does best – focusing on caring for our clients. Many of those efforts usually mean direct care, but recently, the District announced nearly $20 million in budget cuts to the Department of Behavioral health (DBH) that threaten our ability to care for our underserved communities. Our committed and knowledgeable Board of Directors used their voices to advocate for McClendon Center. Here are some excerpts from their recent testimony given to the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Health for the Budget Oversight Hearing.

Caitlin Gritt Vice Chair, McClendon Center Board of Directors Founding Partner, Bisceglie & Gritt, PLLC offers her insights: “For 40 years, McClendon Center has provided critical programs and services to DC’s most vulnerable residents — those diagnosed with severe mental illness — empowering them to live more independently and improve their quality of life.  Our organization is certified as both a Core Services Agency and a provider of Rehabilitation/Day Services.  Last year, we served 4,500 people.  91% of our clients are African-American.  28% of them are homeless or staying in shelters.  One-third of them are 55 years of age or older.
I volunteered to join McClendon Center’s Board of Directors because I care deeply about the wellbeing of my neighbors and the health of my community.  On behalf of those we serve — many of whom cannot speak for themselves — I am asking for your assistance in eliminating the proposed DBH budget cut, so that McClendon Center and other agencies throughout the city can serve as many residents as possible, helping them to live safer, healthier, more independent lives.”

David Harris is Co-Founder of Song Dog Spirits and a McClendon Center Board Member since 2014. David writes: “The era of a global pandemic is exactly the wrong time to balance the city’s budget on the backs of the city’s most vulnerable residents. This is not just a matter of helping support the behavioral health of the District’s long-term residents in dire need of those services; such a budgetary change can also jeopardize their housing, their Medicaid eligibility and essential healthcare as well.
I am appealing to your sense of justice and respectfully asking you and the Council to ensure that these cuts do not transpire, and that we protect and – if anything – we add to the funds allocated to helping our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Divya Moolchandani offers her voice to the conversation: “As a healthcare professional, I assure you the downstream implications of these service caps and any associated reduction in other services is tremendous. By cutting this significant amount designated for community support, the District’s disenfranchised residents, and our clients, will subsequently lose housing, Medicaid eligibility, job opportunities, and access to food and other services.
My job today, as a Board member, is to represent the voice of the Center’s clients and staff, so that they achieve their highest degree of mental health recovery and independence. Your job, as a Council member, is to represent the voices of the community, so all can have equal access to the foundational support they need to try to live happy, healthy, lives. We both have an obligation and moral directive to do our jobs. The $20 million budget cut from service caps on community support and assertive community treatment, coupled with adding medical necessity requirements, will harm our community, especially those that need the most help. Reject these cuts.”

Their full statements are posted on our Here. I encourage you to read them in their entirety.

We are encouraged and optimistic as we move forward knowing we have the strong support of our dedicated Board of Directors advocating for our deserving clients. And as you’ve always known McClendon Center’s work is much more than the services we provide.

-Dennis

PS If you would like to make a donation to you can on our website McClendon Center Give Your essential support is always appreciated! Thank you.

Testimony before the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Health
Budget Oversight Hearing
Submitted by Divya Moolchandani
McClendon Center’s Board of Directors

To the DC Council,
My name is Divya Moolchandani and I am a Board of Director for DC’s McClendon Center, as well as a healthcare consultant primarily serving the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The McClendon Center helps more than 4,500 DC men and women who come to the Center for primary care needs and psychosocial services, including counseling, community support, housing assistance, art and movement therapy groups, and counseling for those with both mental health and substance use disorders. All of our clients are diagnosed with severe mental illness, and many represent our most disenfranchised community members. Nearly 91% of our clients are African American, ages range from 19 to 96 (33% are 55 or older), and 28% are homeless or staying in shelters. Depressive disorders comprise the #1 diagnosis (39%) followed by schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders (25%), and bipolar disorders (17%). All of our clients are working toward recovery, independence, and personal success.
I come to you with direct asks. DC’s Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) is planning to cut about $20 million from its budget by imposing service caps on community support and assertive community treatment. Based on our own agency’s data, service caps will not be able to generate the proposed savings, which means that additional services will need to be cut to save the projected amount. I have identified DBH’s proposed changes to save money below, and respectfully request that you reject the service caps to community support and assertive community treatment. As a healthcare professional, I assure you the downstream implications of these service caps and any associated reduction in other services is tremendous. By cutting this significant amount designated for community support, the District’s disenfranchised residents, and our clients, will subsequently lose housing, Medicaid eligibility, job opportunities, and access to food and other services.
— DBH seeks to impose additional medical necessity criteria for all services, which the Council should NOT approve. While it is important that our clients get services for which they qualify, imposing additional, restrictive medical necessity criteria will be counter-productive and create unnecessary cost burden by putting paperwork over patient care. Medical necessity authorizations will cost the District’s providers and staff in submitting, approving, and appealing authorizations. As evidenced by private sector health plans and Medicare, burdensome medical necessity criteria costs more dollars and creates little-to-no cost savings, while disrupting the continuity of care for patients, who are District residents in this case.
— DBH is sacrificing an estimated $1 million by not filling 8 vacant positions, and the Council should instead consider other positions to eliminate in addition to not filling these 8 positions. The community will be sacrificing far more than that by having to lay off enough staff system wide, to eliminate services to members of our community that need it the most. The goal for this is ask to avoid having the provider system lay off any staff who are providing direct services since these services are vital to thousands of disadvantaged individuals.
I respect the Council because all of you felt a call to serve a greater purpose, as I did with the McClendon Center and its clients, and I implore you to listen to my ask. During our time in quarantine, many have struggled with mental health challenges, and the need for community engagement and social interaction to combat isolation. Our clients essentially live in this mental state every day, and The McClendon Center provides the haven that disenfranchised District residents need to help address these mental needs. These service caps and any additional service cuts will be another consequence in a long chain of inequalities that have left people in those predominantly African American communities more vulnerable due to chronic condition and lack of consistent access to care.
My job today, as a Board member, is to represent the voice of the Center’s clients and staff, so that they achieve their highest degree of mental health recovery and independence. Your job, as a Council member, is to represent the voices of the community, so all can have equal access to the foundational support they need to try to live happy, healthy, lives. We both have an obligation and moral directive to do our jobs. The $20 million budget cut from service caps on community support and assertive community treatment, coupled with adding medical necessity requirements, will harm our community, especially those that need the most help. Reject these cuts.

 

 

Testimony before the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Health

Budget Oversight Hearing
Submitted by Caitlin Gritt
Vice Chair, McClendon Center’s Board of Directors

June 10, 2020

Committee Chair Gray and other distinguished Council members of the Committee on Health:

Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony regarding the proposed FY 2021 Budget for the Department of Behavioral Health (“DBH”). My name is Caitlin Gritt. I have been a resident of the District of Columbia for over a decade, and I serve on the Board of Directors of McClendon Center, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For 40 years, McClendon Center has provided critical programs and services to DC’s most vulnerable residents — those diagnosed with severe mental illness — empowering them to live more independently and improve their quality of life. Our organization is certified as both a Core Services Agency and a provider of Rehabilitation/Day Services. Last year, we served 4,500 people. 91% of our clients are African-American. 28% of them are homeless or staying in shelters. One-third of them are 55 years of age or older.

The proposed FY 2021 Budget contemplates a staggering ~$21 million reduction in DBH’s funding for community-based support services and assertive community treatment. Such a draconian cutback has severe ramifications for the budgets of mental health agencies across the District and the DC residents who we serve together. Without this crucial funding, some city mental health providers may not remain financially viable, and the predictable consequence will be a shortchanging of the clients who rely on them. Without this essential support, our DC neighbors are susceptible to losing their Medicaid eligibility, their healthcare, their housing, and their access to services that help address inequities in Social Determinants of Health, such as food insecurity and lack of employment opportunities.

In the midst of a global pandemic and record unemployment — when marginalized individuals require more care, not less — and during a time of civil unrest due to ongoing racial injustice, DC’s Budget should prioritize the health of its residents by promoting access to services, rather than putting them at greater risk of illness and/or death.

I volunteered to join McClendon Center’s Board of Directors because I care deeply about the wellbeing of my neighbors and the health of my community. On behalf of those we serve — many of whom cannot speak for themselves — I am asking for your assistance in eliminating the proposed DBH budget cut, so that McClendon Center and other agencies throughout the city can serve as many residents as possible, helping them to live safer, healthier, more independent lives.

Thank you for your time, your consideration, and your service to our city.

 

 

Testimony before the Council of the District of Columbia
Committee on Health, Budget Oversight Hearing
Submitted by David A. Harris
Member, McClendon Center Board of Directors

Founder, Song Dog Spirits LLC

June 10, 2020

Committee Chair Gray and other distinguished members of the Committee on Health:

Thank you for this opportunity to submit written testimony regarding the proposed FY 2021 Budget for the Department of Behavioral Health (“DBH”). I have been a proud District resident for almost three decades, and I serve on the Board of Directors of McClendon Center, which as you know is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing essential behavioral health services and support to marginalized residents in the District of Columbia. I am proud that our amazing agency staff was able to serve and support more than 4,000 District residents last year, the vast majority being African American.

This is precisely the wrong time to cut more than $20 million from DBH funds available for community support and treatment. This action will jeopardize the health and well-being of some of the District’s most marginalized citizens, while threatening the financial health of the providers of these vital behavioral health services.

The era of a global pandemic is exactly the wrong time to balance the city’s budget on the backs of the city’s most vulnerable residents. This is not just a matter of helping support the behavioral health of the District’s long-term residents in dire need of those services; such a budgetary change can also jeopardize their housing, their Medicaid eligibility and essential healthcare as well.

If there has been any silver lining to recent horrifying events, it’s seeing people come together across ethnic, generational and religious lines to recognize and fight racial injustice and support African Americans. The District of Columbia cannot and should not choose to further disenfranchise its own African American citizens right now – against this backdrop – by denying them access to the support they desperately need and deserve.

I am appealing to your sense of justice and respectfully asking you and the Council to ensure that these cuts do not transpire, and that we protect and – if anything – we add to the funds allocated to helping our most vulnerable neighbors.

Thank you very much for this opportunity to share my testimony, and for your good work and continued service to our city.

We have good news about McClendon Center’s important work, the work that you support, but first we want to say how concerned we are about you. Across the nation we are experiencing many challenges, some medical and others social. The sadness, anger, and uncertainty that we are all feeling right now is real. Practicing good self-care is essential and we urge you to try and stay connected and healthy. These difficult times won’t last forever. Finding goodness in our world can bring hope – so we want share an encouraging story with you in this update.

Recently McClendon Center staff received a note from Howard University Hospital (HUH) staff.  It speaks to how our services benefit high needs individuals who are without many options. This client was admitted to HUH psych after he was located with his step father’s decomposed body. He experienced extensive abuse by the stepfather and was isolated from the public for an extensive amount of his youth.  We were concerned that upon his release from the hospital he would be discharged to a shelter.  Due to his low intellectual functioning we knew that he would be extremely vulnerable and unable to live on the street.  This consumer required extensive out of the box thinking and interventions during this very complicated time at HUH. One of McClendon Center’s challenges was that the member required more than mental health services but was not enrolled with any other services due to ineligibility. To complicate things further, there were many providers with their hands in this case but solutions were not being communicated.  By acting as the coordination team for this client we were able to initiate and host weekly Zoom meetings to get all of the providers talking and planning.  We created an action plan and followed up with other providers to ensure that steps were being taken to apply for Department of Disability Services eligibility, Supplemental Security Income through Social Security, and to explore housing options.  Further complicating things, these efforts had to be expedited when HUH changed their process to only serving COVID positive patients. The member was discharged from HUH to a residential group home where he can continue to receive support while living in the community.  This was a much more ideal option than discharging to a shelter considering his low level of daily functioning and we are happy we could play a part in ensuring this positive outcome.

This is a great example of the work we are doing. A big shout out to Clinical Mangers Claudelia Davis, LICSW, and Ariel VanDoren, M. A., LPC and their dedicated teams for bringing this client’s case to the forefront and sticking with him over the last 68 days. It is small victories like this that have added up to 40 years of McClendon Center’s success, and without your support it wouldn’t be possible.

Thank you for your continued support – and stay well.

Dennis

A Message to the McClendon Center Community

From Dennis Hobb, Executive Director

George Floyd could have been one of McClendon Center’s clients.  If not a client, he would have been a brother, father, friend, or neighbor of someone we serve. There are no real degrees of separation between the people we serve and George Floyd.

When I saw the video footage of a white police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, I couldn’t believe this actually happened.  I couldn’t believe it because no one should have to believe it.  What could George Floyd have done that would cause four law enforcement officers to participate in killing him, a defenseless man?  Possibly using a fake $20 bill that he might not even have known he had?  Does this justify torturing and killing another human being?  The answer is that nothing justifies this.  Nothing.

We often speak of our clients being marginalized because of their mental illnesses.  What we forget is that, because 96% of our clients are people of color, they are already marginalized.  When I was growing up in the 1960s I assumed that the riots I saw many nights on the evening news would lead to justice and an equality of opportunity for everyone.  Fifty years later, we are still waiting for that to happen.

I understand that people of color are tired of waiting for things to get better.  Exhaustion and resentment are the results of the racism people of color deal with every day.

Every single day.

In 1963, John F. Kennedy gave a speech to the people of the divided city of Berlin in which he said “ich bin ein Berliner”.  He was the leader of the free world identifying with a divided and oppressed people by saying “I am a Berliner”—one of you.  What will it take for our leaders to identify with people of color so that they can say “I am George Floyd”?  How can they begin to tear down walls rather than build them?

McClendon Center is a bridge between what is and what can be.  As much as I see the hatred and racism that people of color experience, I also believe that our work is about building bridges to a better life.  I understand it when some protesters express rage, but I also think that rage can become a dynamic energy that focuses on change for the better.

I am a white male.  I am not George Floyd, and I cannot pretend to understand the systemic injustices and indignities people of color face every day.  But I am a bridge builder, and so are the staff members who work at McClendon Center.  That is what we are about.

The Berlin wall came down 26 years after JFK’s speech.  I hope and pray that compassion and justice will lead to a far better world in a much shorter time.

As we are settling into new ways of doing things we are also finding new ways to serve our clients. Due to the hard work of Aisha Shabazz, McClendon Center’s Day Program Manager, we have started a “Virtual Day Program”.  It took a great deal of effort and organizing for Aisha and her staff but they have created something wonderful. Human connection is so important to our clients and having a dedicated place to go every day and interact with others was important to so many of them. Offering that connection on Zoom can now help to bridge the gap of loneliness. Even more amazing, we have expanded our reach – now serving not only many current MCC clients but now 20 other DC residents. And we see that number growing as we expand the program. Aisha gives a more detailed explanation of how she, her staff, and the clients are benefiting:

Most of our day program clients depend very heavily on the day program.  For many of them it is the only place that they have friends and participate in meaningful activities.  When we realized that the day program would have to close temporarily due to COVID-19, we were very worried about how it would affect the clients.

During the first weeks of the Quarantine, Day Program staff stayed connected to the clients by calling them several times a week to check on their wellbeing (did they have enough food and medication, offering solutions to symptom management and keeping them company).  Although the clients appreciated these calls, after a while all they wanted to know was “when will we be able to come back?” It was very frustrating and actually heartbreaking not to have an answer.

One day a staff member called 6 clients at the same time.  This call lasted for about an hour.  Not only did they miss coming to the day program, they also really missed each other!  Friends are such an essential part of life. The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) authorized Virtual Day Services at the end of April.  On Monday, May 4th the McClendon Center offered it’s first Virtual Day Programming through Zoom. We do our best to create programing that is very similar to what clients receive at the ACTUAL Day Program. We are currently offering Virtual Day Programming at 4 different sites (a Community Residence Facility (CRF), 2 transitional houses and a group home) through Zoom Meetings. Some of the groups offered are: Art Therapy (we ship art supplies to the sites), Movement/Dance Therapy, Educational Games, Recovery Based Groups and Mental Health Awareness.   Groups are offered at 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00. The clients participate in 3 groups daily and then receive lunch, which is delivered by our lunch provider, Catholic Charities.   We also offer groups twice a week through Google Duo for our clients that live independently. So far on average we have been providing Day Services to 20 clients a day. We are planning on adding more sites and expanding our Google Duo groups.This has been challenging at times, because it requires a lot of “technology juggling,” but the feedback from CRF directors, House Managers and clients has been overwhelmingly positive.  The clients report loving seeing their group facilitators and are enjoying groups.  The House managers report that it has been easier to get the clients to “social distance” by remaining in the house, because they aren’t leaving out of boredom. This has been a HUGE team effort that has been very much worth it.

We also want to give an update on our Art of Transformation. Originally we had hoped to move it to November. However, that seems unrealistic given all the uncertainty. We have always put client and staff safety at the top of our list – and we need to keep our friends, family, and supporters safe too. We will have a celebration in person, we just aren’t sure when. We will keep you up to date on planning. We are also working on ways to stay connected in the meantime – so stay tuned for that!

-Dennis

You may be familiar with Giving Tuesday – a global giving event that happens each year right after Thanksgiving. It is normally a time of abundance and gratitude. Giving Tuesday provides a day to give back and say thanks to charities and nonprofits of your choosing. Due to Covid19 and the extraordinary strain it has put on businesses of all types, the non-profit community decided to add a special day this year. Today, May 5th is Giving Tuesday Now. And McClendon Center is taking part. If you are considering giving today we’d love you to think of us. McClendon Center has already received a generous pledge of $2,500 to get our day of giving off to a terrific start. We are very grateful!

Ray Bethel, Office Coordinator at MCC, models one of Ms. Phillip’s handmade masks

We are also happy to report that we can now provide washable reusable masks for clients and staff. Claudelia Davis, LICSW, a Clinical Manager at McClendon Center, told us about her neighbor Helen Phillips. Ms. Phillip is a local seamstress and instructor – and has taught Claudelia’s daughter to sew. Like many of us during the pandemic, Ms. Phillips has switched her business focus from teaching to making one-of-a-kind masks that are functional and fashionable. And McClendon Center asked her to make some for us. We’re pleased to have a member of our community provide these beautiful masks that are made with love and handmade care.

If you can contribute on Giving Tuesday Now there are many ways that your donation can help.
Here are some:

A $10 Gift will provide handmade washable masks to a staff member and a client.

A $25 Gift will buy valuable telephone minutes to add to clients’ phones ensuring we stay connected

A $50 Gift will purchase a gift card for food and toiletries to keep our clients healthy and safe

Above all we hope you are staying safe and healthy.  Thank you to the many of you that have already given and sent encouraging messages. In the coming months we all need to support one another. Already we’re making plans to carefully re-open and to slowly return to business when it’s safe to do so. Things will be different however McClendon Center will continue to do what we have done for 40 years – care and advocate for our those who are struggling with mental health issues. There will be more updates to come.

-Dennis

PS If you make a donation of any size thank you for thinking of McClendon Center!

Things are changing around the District due to Covid19 and some of the more exciting changes have to do with increasing our partnerships.  The Department of Behavioral Health was just awarded a federal grant of which McClendon Center is a part.  Our job is to utilize peer specialists to work with transitions of care at the city’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, and to establish a “warm” line for behavioral health clients who just need to talk.  McClendon Center has a long history of promoting recovery by employing individuals who are also experiencing living with mental illness.  This program will build on that, as well as on our ability to partner with at least one of the peer operated centers in the District.  We are taking on the challenge, just like you’d except us to. These are our neighbors in need and we will continue to be part of the solution.

And we know you want to help too. You’re a part of McClendon Center because you care about your community and the people in it, especially those who are struggling. Recently we have seen amazing gestures of generosity. Some of you have donated your $1,200 stimulus checks to McClendon Center. We are extremely grateful for your generous support. However, a gift of any size is a way you can help, and it will make a difference right now.

Two weeks ago we became aware of clients potentially falling through the cracks in the Coivd19 response from the District. Homeless clients that tested positive for the virus were moved to a hotel in NW to recuperate. Unfortunately, they were not receiving sufficient medical attention or appropriate meals. Our first step was to take care of these clients and then follow-up with the right agencies and advocate for our clients. Caitlin Apo, Clinical Director for the McClendon Center, was interviewed about the situation in an article for the Washington City Paper which outlines the shortfall. Here is a link to the article if you would like to read more
Washington City Paper
Note: in the article it states we are closed – which is incorrect. We have reduced our hours but have not closed the clinic’s doors completely.

-Dennis

PS If you are thinking about donating your stimulus check or making a donation of any size thank you for doing what you can to support our community, it makes a difference!

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