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Old 08-28-2007, 08:21 AM   #1
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Mallory Building (780 Albany St. Roxbury)

A rendering of the Mallory Building, located at 780 Albany St. in
Boston?s Roxbury neighborhood, is being renovated to meet the needs of
the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

Originally Posted by Banker & Tradesman
Program for Homeless Breathing New Life Into Old Morgue
By Kay Metcalfe
Editorial Assistant

After her husband died 14 years ago, Casey?s life crumbled around her. She dealt with the pain by turning to alcohol. Before she knew it, Casey had lost her house and was living under a bridge near Kenmore Square in Boston.

The Street Outreach Team, one of many services offered by the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, became familiar with Casey when she was diagnosed with throat cancer two years ago. She needed a place to stay to recover from treatment and BHCHP provided it at its inpatient respite center, the Barbara McInnis House.

After recovering, and with help from the street team, Casey was able to move into her own apartment and is now living cancer-free.

Last October, Casey spoke at the groundbreaking for BHCHP?s soon-to-be hub in the Mallory Building, situated on the Boston Medical Center campus in the city?s Roxbury neighborhood. Her story captures the success the nonprofit strives for in its work to provide health care to the homeless population of Boston, said Cheryl D. Kane, street outreach nurse/director of development for BHCHP.

?She really felt that BHCHP saved her life, and credits the street team in particular,? noted Kane. ?Now she wants to give back to the program, and to help.?

Founded in 1985, BHCHP serves 9,000 homeless people annually. The outfit began as one of 19 health care for the homeless programs funded nationally by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust.

Previously, BHCHP worked as a decentralized group with offices and services scattered throughout the city. But in 2006, a long-term lease ($1 a year, for 99 years) with the Boston Public Health Commission for the Mallory Building, located at 780 Albany St., was negotiated. The Mallory Building is centrally located among BHCHP?s 70 service sites, with the commission retaining ownership of the land. The program is the largest, most comprehensive of its kind offering health care services for the homeless in the country, according to BHCHP Executive Director Robert L. Taube.

?Interesting History?
The 77,000-square-foot structure is currently undergoing a gut-rehabilitation that will bring the Boston Medical Center clinic, inpatient respire care, dental services and research-and-administration functions under one roof. Construction is expected to be completed by next April and the program moved in by summertime.

The 4-story building originally served as a medical pathology research and teaching center for the city, as well as the city?s morgue. Since the mid-1990s, the Mallory Building has housed various offices, but remained mostly vacant and had fallen into disrepair, Taube said.

?The building is rich with interesting history,? he noted. ?It holds a lot of meaning for the city of Boston and we are looking to honor its past with historic preservation. The Mallory Building really needed redevelopment, it was so underutilized.?

BHCHP received historic tax credits, as well as New Market Tax Credits, for the 75 year-old building totaling $20.9 million in financing and $6.2 million in equity. The total project cost is $38.5 million, according to Andrea Daskalakis, senior equity officer for the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp.

Since the building, designed by Boston architect James Ritchie, is historically significant as the first freestanding structure in the United States with Egyptian Revival details, BHCHP is restoring the facade and the sphinx-ornate lobby, said Taube.

?Steel has been added to support the building and to bring it up to seismic code,? he said. ?The original steel and floors is all that remains.?

The architect is the Boston office of Steffian Bradley Assoc., the project manager is Tishman Construction?s Boston office and the construction manager is Boston?s Suffolk Construction.

The team has worked to create space on each floor for BHCHP?s needs. The McInnis Health Group clinic, currently in the ambulatory care center at Boston Medical Center, will gain 12,000 square feet on the first floor and provide medical care combined with dental, mental health and family-team services, said Taube.

The second, third and fourth floors will house administrative offices as well as the relocated Barbara McInnis House, currently located in Boston?s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, doubling its size to 30,000 square feet and increasing its bed count from 72 to 104, he said.

?Medical respite is very important for the homeless, creating a place off the streets for people who are very sick, but not sick enough for the hospital,? said Taube. ?They can come here for pre- and post-surgery care. If they were discharged right onto the street, they may not get better.?
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