Sacramento Acupuncture Project (SAP) has now been open for a year and a half. We will forever thank POCA (People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture) for approving the Underserved Area Microloan of $7,500 that enabled us to smoothly open this location, our third (the first two are the other locations of Oakland Acupuncture Project in Oakland, CA). I’m still struck by how incredible it is that POCA has built the infrastructure and funding to financially support new and expanding clinics in this way. Having a successful microloan program was one of POCA’s priorities from the very beginning, a concept inspired by Grameen Bank‘s microfinance program providing banking and loan services to the rural poor in Bangladesh. If you haven’t yet learned about Grameen Bank and its founder, Mohammad Yunus, I urge you to start reading!
In April 2016, SAP was able to expand from having two full-time employees to adding a third part-time employee. By last October, exactly one year into business, we were able to expand the third job into a full-time position allowing us to be open 7 days a week. In the 2016 calendar year we gave 8,319 treatments, and from Day 1 to present we’ve given around 12,000 treatments total. Our POCA loan will be fully repaid in 5 months time, allowing for more available funding to be disbursed to other new POCA clinics. We have a strong patient base of regulars, with many people able to try acupuncture for the first time because the POCA model has made it affordable to them. Seeing patients come in, share the space, rest and find relief humbles me daily, and I’m grateful to have a job where I can be myself and connect with fellow humans who are struggling.
POCA patients, thank you for coming to all of our clinics and for helping to build this restful, affordable healthcare movement!