On June 9, 2011, a Dedication Ceremony was held to honor Ms. Elouise Westbrook and commemorate the opening of Westbrook Plaza, a new state-of-the-art building on Seventh Street, just north of Folsom, in San Francisco’s SOMA district. Westbrook Plaza is home to the new South of Market Health Center (SMHC), and 49 units of affordable housing through Mercy Housing California. It represents so much more than a place to live or receive medical care. It celebrates the coming together of a community –the dedication of the SMHC Board and Executive Director Charles Range, the efforts of the Fundraising Committee, the support of private donors, foundations, and the local and federal governments, a partnership between health and housing providers, and especially the passion of Ms. Elouise Westbrook.
Ms. Westbrook was among the community leaders who spearheaded the social justice movement here in San Francisco. She stood for San Francisco’s poverty-stricken and low-income families and demanded that attention be paid to their needs for work, health care, housing, and pre-school education. The June 9 ceremony was an overarching celebration of bringing health and housing together to build a healthier community. Mayor Ed Lee, Mr. Range, a representative from the Redevelopment Agency, a patient of SMHC, a resident of the new housing unit, Ms. Westbrook’s family members, and several others spoke about their involvement with, excitement about, and appreciation of Westbrook Plaza.
The partnership between SMHC and Mercy Housing California to develop Westbrook Plaza has produced the first new facility in San Francisco that provides both affordable health care and housing for the low-income population. SMHC now occupies a 20,000 square foot medical clinic -- triple the size of its old clinic – which will allow it to double its client capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 clients. Patients deserve the best that a health center can give them, both clinically and facility-wise, and SMHC is striving to do just that. SMHC now has more medical exam rooms, specialty rooms for woman and children and podiatry services, a bigger dental clinic, space to provide group education sessions and behavioral health services, and a pharmacy.
Thank you to everyone who has worked toward and contributed to the building and operation of Westbrook Plaza!