HARTFORD, Conn. — The exterior of an old red brick building on Farmington Avenue in Hartford looks largely as it has for decades – it’s the inside that has been completely changed.
The Archdiocese of Hartford, The Hartford Bishops’ Foundation and The Malta House of Care celebrated Tuesday the opening of a collaborative project, The Cathedral Community Center.
Six years in the making and an estimated $8 million raised in private funds, the new center will provide the people of Greater Hartford two benefits: access to primary care and a food pantry.
“It’s brought together to offer people one location where they can get their health care when they need it," said Vicki Veltri, the executive director of the Malta House of Care. "They can get access to food, many of our patients are food insecure.”
Archbishop Leonard Blair was proudly walking the grounds outside the Cathedral Community Center, which sits right next to the Cathedral of Saint Joseph on Farmington Avenue.
“This is the heart of charity here in the center of Hartford,” Blair said, and added, “It’s a wonderful day.”
The funds raised for the Cathedral Community Center came from private and corporate donors – no state or federal funds were used.
The Malta House of Care, which is known for providing mobile vans that offer health care in the Hartford area, will continue the mission but now there is a dedicated state-of-the-art brick-and-mortar clinic to tend to patients.
“This will enable them [The Malta House] to increase by two and a half times the number of people they’re able to serve here,” Blair said.
“This is our mission – to get people comprehensive primary care and the fact that we can open our doors on this day is really gratifying,” Veltri added, standing by the front doors of the health clinic.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the Cathedral Community Center was held Tuesday with staff and supporters cheering the accomplishment.
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