On Friday, April 21 Rose Haven partnered with Medical Teams International and provided onsite emergency dental procedures for nine Rose Haven women aboard their Mobile Dental Van. This is the second time we have offered this program, thank to support from local dentists and The Charis Fund.
The need for dental hygiene among low-income individuals is immense. For women in particular, poor oral hygiene can be a major barrier when applying for jobs and housing. Not only is this population unable to afford dental care, but they are more at risk of tooth decay due to the fact that processed foods are inexpensive and more available. Up to 30% of uninsured emergency room visits could have been better treated in a dental office. There are two primary obstacles to receiving dental care in the US: cost and accessible location.
Rose Haven is the best location for MTI’s mobile dental van to reach the female, unhoused population in Portland, and this program removes barriers for them to get this vital care. Women come to Rose Haven for help because they trust us. They trust that they will be safe at our accessible location, they trust that our advocates have vetted the resources we offer, and they trust that we will safely store their records and important documents. We offer a single location where women in crisis can come to seek resources and get back on their feet.
Perhaps the impact of this program is best described by the women we serve. The following is a testimonial from a Rose Haven Guest after receiving dental care: