Construction begins on Kountze Commons

Location will house a health clinic and food bank
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-19 19:21:16-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -- A growing church will expand its ability to help people in downtown Omaha.


"It's so exciting,” said Dr. Lindsay Northam, “we've been planning to get to this point for so long, and now to actually see it come to, it makes it real."


Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church torn down what was once a television station and is now starting construction on a new building that will house a health clinic and an expanded food bank.


The church has partnered with Methodist Health System.


Reverend Dean Bard with the church said this partnership fills a hole not many in the area are doing.


"We are the only ones doing that kind of work totally for free," Bard said.


The clinic provides care to anybody-- those without insurance or who can't afford to pay.


Currently, Methodist Health operates these services out an aging building at 36th and Cuming Streets.


"When we move from the current space to the new location, the clinic space will essentially triple in size. And we have more exam rooms, more education rooms, more services for our patients," Dr. Northam said.


the new endeavor-- called Koutnze Commons--  will allow the church and hospital to help nearly 5 times as many people as they do now.


"We've gone from maybe 100-150 people a week, to serving 400-500 a week,” Rev. Bard said, “so the need has grown."


The Koutnze Commons addition and health clinic is set to open early next year.