Construction began this week on a major expansion of the Hollywood Sunset Community Clinic, which provides free or low-cost medical services to more than 24,000 residents of East Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park and downtown Los Angeles each year. The clinic, established in 1968, also provides legal and counseling services.
The clinic plans to add a second story to its building at 3324 Sunset Blvd., at Micheltorena Street.
It also will renovate and remodel some first-floor offices, Felix Racelis, development director at the clinic, said.
"This is long overdue," Racelis said. "We are really cramped for space and this is really a blessing for us."
The expansion, the first in 10 years, was financed by about $200,000 in grants from the Los Angeles City Community Development Department and about $127,000 from the state Department of Health Services, Racelis said.
He said an additional $50,000 must be raised from other sources.
Patients at the clinic are encouraged to pay for services, but no one is ever turned away for lack of money, Racelis said.
Services are offered by staff and volunteer professionals and interns, he said.