Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Westside Nonprofit Ready to Expand; Community Health Outreach to Break Ground in Mid-January

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Westside Nonprofit Ready to Expand; Community Health Outreach to Break Ground in Mid-January

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey

Mary Ann Cox was used to running a nonprofit that sometimes struggled to pay its monthly power bill.

Now she's getting used to running a nonprofit whose expansion plans to better provide health care and other assistance to the needy has, in the past year, attracted widespread community support.

Community Health Outreach on Jacksonville's Westside has almost raised the $1.2 million necessary to replace its cramped converted house now being used as a clinic with a new, 6,000-square-foot building. The support includes $700,000 of in-kind goods and services donated by contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, a $100,000 matching grant from the Weaver Family Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and the time and talents of a 12-member design team from The Haskell Co.

Groundbreaking is planned for mid-January, with the new clinic operational by next summer.

"It's surreal," Cox said. "I can't believe we've come this far ... It's mind-blowing."

ARRAY OF SERVICES

Community Health Outreach, formerly known as WestJax Outreach, provides hunger assistance, primary medical care, emergency dental treatment, pregnancy testing, counseling and clothing to the uninsured, unemployed and people living below the poverty line, including veterans.

The nonprofit's three programs - Healing Hands clinic, Lord's Pantry and Baby Luv Pregnancy Center - operate from three small, aging buildings on the same Timuquana Road campus.

Founded in 1988 by St. Peter's Episcopal Church, which is across the street, the outreach is supported by a coalition of Christian churches, community groups and individual volunteers.

In 2011, Cox, who works full time, a part-time medical patient coordinator, a part-time dental patient coordinator and volunteer health care professionals provided 17,438 services to Duval County residents.

In 2012, they provided 20,437 services in Duval and a satellite office set up that year in Putnam County. …

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