One nonprofit organization in Tallahassee is all about Connecting Everyone with Second Chances, with its most recently effort in the form of free dental care for the city’s homeless population.
After just three months of planning, according to WCTV.tv , a privately-funded dental clinic run by Comprehensive Emergency Services Center, opened its doors Monday.
The volunteer-run dental clinic at The Kearney Center homeless shelter on Municipal Way offers full dental services including X-rays, fillings, cleanings and extractions, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
“Free dental care is now being offered for residents of The Dwellings (the nation’s first tiny home community working to help end homelessness) and Westgate Community — two subdivisions for income-restricted people, many of whom are disabled, displaced or disadvantaged.
The privately-funded clinic is run by Comprehensive Emergency Services Center, the three centers’ parent agency, and offers full dental services including X-rays, fillings, cleanings and extractions.”
CESC Board Member Dr. Russell Rainey, a local dentist who helped launch the clinic and is volunteering there weekly told Nada Hassanein, Democrat staff writer that “oral health is a gateway to overall health.”
“We’ve identified that oral health is a big contributing factor to overall health,” said Rainey, adding that many emergency room visits are due to dental problems. “So we’re trying to provide a dental home … so they can avoid costly emergency room bills.”
National dental supply companies donated clinic essentials, including about $5,000 in dental supplies from Benco Dental.
Want to help?
- DONATE According to the story, additional donations are still needed in order to expand services and ensure long-term care.
Donations can be made at CESCtlh.org.
“Donations will be of a consistent need to meet … the never-ending need for dental care,” said Monique Ellsworth, CESC executive director. “We’re really trying to invest in the long-term dental health in someone. This is not a clinic where we’re just trying to slap a band-aid on them or treat-’em-and-street-’em.”
2. VOLUNTEER. Dr. Russell Rainey urged people to ask their own local dentists and dental hygienists to volunteer at the clinic.
He said that in the future, Tallahassee Community College dental hygiene students will volunteer at the dental clinic as part of their senior-year internship.
Reach out to support@CESCtlh.org to learn more.