Also by Reinvestment Fund
Success Story

Unity Health, Upper Cardozo Health Center


Reinvestment Fund and Capital Impact Partners are providing refinancing for Unity Health Care’s Upper Cardozo Health Center. Unity Health Care is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) network in Washington, D.C.

Unity Health Care was founded in 1985 as the Health Care for the Homeless Project providing primary health care services to homeless individuals and families that reside in local emergency shelters or on the streets of the District of Columbia. Unity is now the largest primary health care agency in the D.C. area, serving over 60% of all FQHC patients in the city. Unity’s mission is to promote healthier communities through compassionate and comprehensive health and human services, regardless of ability to pay.

Unity’s Upper Cardozo Health Center was fully renovated in 2010 through grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and financing from other sources. To refinance that shorter term debt, Reinvestment Fund and CIP are providing a total of $9.2 million in long term permanent financing, with resources from the CDFI Fund Bond Guarantee Program (BGP).

The 2010 renovation allowed Unity to increase its capacity at Upper Cardozo from 78,000 visits in 2008 to 100,000 today. The Upper Cardozo clinic will continue serving about 26,000 patients annually, 74% of whom have incomes below 100% of the federal poverty level, 11% of whom reside in homeless shelters, and 7% of whom are incarcerated.

Upper Cardozo is open 7 days per week and provides a full range of primary and specialty medical care, dental services, behavioral health, social services and WIC services. The 63,350-square-foot facility has 63 medical and dental exam rooms, a laboratory, rooms for nutrition and wellness classes, and a pharmacy.

Unity’s Upper Cardozo Health Center is conveniently located steps away from the Metro in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, which has seen redevelopment since 2000. The neighborhood is currently in a growth stage, spurred by being a lower-cost option for redevelopment compared to closer-in areas also served by Metro.