Wellpoint Care Network,
the Milwaukee-based human services agency formerly known as SaintA, announced Wednesday that it has issued $12.5 million in revenue bonds through the Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority (WHEFA) to assist it with a multi-phase renovation of its northwest side headquarters.
The nonprofit, which provides services related to foster care, child welfare and mental health, revealed early last year that it would be renovating office space in an effort to consolidate its employees at its main campus, at 8901 W. Capitol Drive. At that time 100 of its 320 employees were assigned to the Capitol Drive building. In the January 2022 announcement it said all of the organization’s employees would be moving to the main campus by March 2023.
According to a Wednesday press release, the nonprofit will be using proceeds from the tax-exempt bond sale to transform its 18-acre campus into a place where families, neighbors and community partners will find trauma-informed social services, mental health resources and a place to connect, collaborate and care for themselves and one another.
The project includes the remodeling of space dedicated to providing mental health services and creating a welcoming, trauma-informed space for neighbors and community members to gather, a press release states. It is estimated that this project will impact 7,800 individuals annually, including 1,500 children, youth and adults who will access mental health services through its clinic, regardless of income, insurance, or ability to pay.
“Our deep commitment to engage and serve the community creates the vision for his rejuvenated campus in our longtime Milwaukee neighborhood,” said Ann Leinfelder Grove, president and CEO of Wellpoint Care Network. “It will be a place for creating connection; for citizens to receive quality mental health care and vital social services, for neighbors to attend a community meeting or tend a plot in the community garden and for our dedicated employees to experience a bright and modern workspace for their efforts to support children and families to thrive.”
Other phases of the main campus renovation were expected to include creating dedicated spaces for public use, such as a coffee shop and conference rooms available for reservation, the organization said last year. The full project was expected to be completed by late 2023 at that time.
Bill Harrigan, a Wellpoint Care Network board member, thanked WHEFA, which assists eligible Wisconsin nonprofit institutions with financing or refinancing capital improvements and expansion needs, for helping to make the project a reality.
Founded in 1850 to care for children orphaned during Milwaukee’s cholera epidemic, Wellpoint Care Network evolved over the years into a $25 million nonprofit that provides a range of prevention, intervention and crisis resources for youth and families. The organization serves about 5,000 clients daily.
The nonprofit’s trauma-informed care approach has been recognized by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, and in 2020 Winfrey’s charitable foundation granted the organization $100,000
to purchase tablets and internet service for up to 150 clients in need. The financial support allowed the organization to provide virtual mental health services to children, youth and families across southeastern Wisconsin during the COVID-19 pandemic.