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Passage Home kicks off construction of medical clinic in southeast Raleigh

April 3, 2013 – N.C. Community Development Initiative partner Passage Home celebrated the launch of construction of a new Debnam Clinic location on Poole Road in southeast Raleigh with a ribbon-cutting event today (April 3).

The clinic has provided primary medical care for thousands of people in the community since its founding by Dr. George C. Debnam in 1961. With a growing number of patients, the clinic has outgrown its space. Construction should be completed in July.

“We are proud to re-connect with Lincoln Park Holiness Church, one of our founding faith partners, on this project,” said Jeanne Tedrow, co-founder and chief executive officer of Passage Home, a local nonprofit helping to break the cycle of poverty in Wake County.

“Returning to our Lincoln Park roots is somewhat of a homecoming,” she said. “We’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity and have found one.” Construction is expected to be completed by July 2013.

Passage Home bought the building and will lead clinic renovations, then lease it back to the Debnam family, Tedrow said. Passage Home and the Debnam Clinic plan to collaborate on a comprehensive community development strategy to reduce poverty and homelessness in the area.

“The services offered by the Debnam Clinic directly complement our mission as they provide quality medical care to people in the underserved communities of southeast Raleigh and parts of Wake County,” Tedrow said.

The clinic project marks the return of Passage Home to Lincoln Park, the community originally targeted by the nonprofit. Volunteers from Lincoln Park Holiness Church and The Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi came together through a shared desire to alleviate poverty and homelessness in the southeast Raleigh community. Founders soon transitioned the nonprofit’s focus from Lincoln Park to the South Park neighborhood.

“From [its founding] through many projects, community faith ventures, grants and fundraisers, a strong union formed between our two churches that speaks loudly and clearly today,” said Rev. Billy Ratcliff, pastor of Lincoln Park Holiness Church. “That union became what is now known as Passage Home, a beacon of hope in our community.”

The Debnam Clinic will complete a neighborhood revitalization project in Lincoln Park. George Debnam’s twin daughters, Marie and Marjorie, both physicians, are carrying on their father’s vision. The new clinic allows them to remain accessible to current patients while opening services for a new group of patients.

“My sister and I think it is extremely important to not leave the southeast Raleigh area,” Marie Debnam said.

“Fortunately, Passage Home and Lincoln Park Holiness Church shared our vision and commitment to serve Raleigh’s most underserved communities, and through a collaborative effort, Jeanne and Rev. Ratcliff have helped make our dream a reality,” she said. “We hope our clinic will spark further development in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and throughout the rest of the southeast Raleigh community.”

For more information on Passage Home, visit www.passagehome.org.