'So Others Might Eat' to open new building with housing, healthcare and training

So Others Might Eat building. (Photo: WJLA)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- A new mixed-use building in Northeast D.C. is strategically located in the middle of Ward 7. It is being developed by the non-profit organization So Others Might Eat. SOME officials said it will change thousands of lives passing through it each year.

At a groundbreaking event Wednesday morning, the organization said Building Hope will be D.C.'S first facility to combine affordable housing, health care and job training – all under one roof.

The 320,000 square foot building will feature more than 200 housing units for homeless and low-income families. It will also feature a clinic with 29 exam rooms, operated by Unity Healthcare, with a goal of treating 10,000 patients each year.

Unity Healthcare Medical Director Dr. Janelle Goetcheus said, “We'll have the ability to have more social work, more behavioral health, more dental, more walk-ins and specialty care that we're not able to get in our small facility up the hill.”

The building will be located a block away from the Benning Road Metro Station.

Unity Healthcare Patient Tranikka Robertson said, “You have to travel across town to get to a lot of doctors’ offices and this is very convenient.”

SOME is known for its job training and the new Benning Road facility will be anchored by an employment center.

SOME President Fr. John Adams said, “It's to help people get full time jobs with benefits at a living wage.”

Student Marcel Jackson said the program changed his life.

“I'm doing extensive course work and hands on training in carpentry, electrical wiring, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing,” he said. “I just completed my 120 hours of externship with SOME property management. It's a beautiful school. I love it.”

Most of the $89 million project has been funded with government grants and loans, but the organization still needs to raise another $3 million in capital funds. Learn more here.

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