A south Minneapolis health clinic was awarded $2.6 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.
Southside Community Health Services is a primary care clinic in south Minneapolis. It aims to provide care to an underserved community. Most of its patients have public health care or are uninsured.
The funding will go toward a planned move to a new location at 1000 East Lake St.
“This donation and the new facility will allow us to serve many more people in the community,” Southside’s Executive Director Ann Cazaban said. “It's going to allow us to bring all of our services under one roof.”
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The current clinic is operating in leased space in an elementary school building. Cazaban said the organization outgrew the location years ago.
“We’re making do,” Cazaban said. “It’s a space that was never designed to be a clinic, so we’ve kind of pieced together and done the best with what we had.”
The new clinic location will look just like any other primary care facility — a big step up from leased space in a school. It’ll offer medical, dental, vision, and behavioral health services to patients.
Currently, the clinic serves about 11,000 people a year. Cazaban said the move will allow it to serve about 18,000.
The new location will take over an empty lot that used to be a Family Dollar store. It burned down in 2020 during the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd.
“It’s the perfect spot,” Cazaban said. “It’s on major transit lines. The visibility is going to be much greater. We’re building something with a lot of intention, looking at the patient’s experience when they walk in.”
Cazaban said the donation came as a surprise. Southside didn’t apply for the funding or reach out to Scott’s foundation — instead, they called Southside and told Cazaban that the clinic had been selected for the gift.
Scott is the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Her organization Yield Giving says it has given a total of around $16.5 billion to nonprofits around the country. Yield Giving does not announce its gifts or talk to reporters about its selection process “in order to cede focus to the organizations we’re supporting,” according to its website.
Southside’s new clinic will cost about $30 million. The organization has secured several other grants for the project and plans to seek more funding from the State Legislature next year.
Southside plans to break ground on the new facility next year and open it to patients in the summer of 2025.