Neighborhood Involvement Program closes on Hennepin

The long-running Neighborhood Involvement Program (NIP) is now finished on Hennepin Avenue, ending all direct client services on Dec. 31.

The administrative office is staying open early this year to help clients with referrals. Cornerstone Advocacy Service will take over NIP’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Center, one of the first in the country, and will continue providing services out of the NIP building at 2431 Hennepin Ave. S. The center’s legal advocates now work out of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

News outlets report that a purchase agreement is in place for the building.

NIP closed its medical clinic last summer, saying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduced the number of patients served by 30 percent. Other challenges included a switch to Electronic Health Records, delayed funding contributions, and unpaid patient payments.

Nationwide, nearly a dozen shuttered health clinics serving the uninsured cited the federal health law as a major reason for closure, according to the Wall Street Journal.

NIP has lined up several referral partnerships for its clients. The NIP Seniors Program will become part of Senior Community Services, based in Minnetonka. The Walk-in Counseling Center at 24th & Chicago will accept uninsured and underinsured NIP mental health clients.

MinnPost reported that NIP was not able to find a home for its dental program, however.

“It breaks my heart,” NIP President Patsy Bartley told MinnPost. “There are not a lot of good places to go for people who need dental services who are uninsured. The ACA doesn’t really address dental except for kids. There is still a huge ongoing need for that.”