Donors come to aid of Portland Community Free Clinic

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PORTLAND — The Portland Community Free Clinic will remain in business for at least the rest of the year, thanks to more than $93,000 in private donations made since December, the city announced Monday.

The clinic, at 103 India St., provides no-cost medical care to about 500 Cumberland County residents who earn too much money to qualify for programs such as MaineCare, but not enough to afford health insurance or to pay other medical care providers.

The clinic was facing possible closure after it lost funding from Mercy Hospital and the city.

Mercy stopped its annual contribution of about $200,000 in 2011, and emergency funds from the city dried up last September.

After a series of news reports, the Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation pledged a challenge grant of $25,000 to keep the clinic’s doors open.

An anonymous donor matched the grant with a $25,000 contribution through the Maine Community Foundation.

Since then, the clinic has received contributions from a variety of businesses and community members, including $25,000 from the John T. Gorman Foundation, $10,000 from the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust and $5,000 from the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program.

“I want to thank the community for their quick action in support of the Portland Community Free Clinic,” Mayor Michael Brennan said in a press release.

“The clinic is successful thanks to the dozens of volunteers who give their time every week in service to those without insurance and now thanks to contributions from the community, the clinic will remain open for 2013.”

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.