Volunteers of America Michigan teamed up with the Delta Dental Foundation to open a dental clinic that will provide care to the homeless in Lansing, Mich. Located at the region’s largest homeless service center, it is expected to serve 2,000 patients each year.
“It’s nearly impossible to find a job or focus on the tasks required for daily life when you suffer from poor oral health or tooth pain,” said Teri Battaglieri, director of the Delta Dental Foundation, which also noted that 41% of homeless people experience dental plain.
“We are proud to fund this clinic, the first of its kind in the region, and provide these individuals with access to high quality dental care so they can be free of pain and find success in life,” said Battaglieri.
The Delta Dental Foundation provided a $322,404 grant to launch the clinic, which opened on Tuesday, February 14. It is located next door to the Sparrow medical practice, which opened in 2014 inside of the Volunteers of America shelter and homeless service center.
“Until now, we have failed to deliver on the need for dental care for homeless people,” said Patrick Patterson, executive vice president of Volunteers of America Michigan. “Many suffer with the misery of daily pain, lost teeth, poor nutrition, and whole body disease that arises from poor oral health. This is going to change that.”