Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What’s New with GSC?

The Denture Program is back!

In partnership with Husky Health Bridge (HHB), the Greater Seattle Cares’ Denture program is back in the business of changing lives! People who are missing teeth are missing out on a lot: without a confident smile it’s hard to find a job or housing and people adversely judge you. Through GSC’s denture program, Dental Case Managers are able to help camp residents in need of dentures get the care they need.
Can we count on YOU to make a donation – of any size – to help fund this vital program?
  • $300 buys one tooth
  • $525 buys an upper or lower denture
  • $1150 provides an entire set of teeth
  • And any amount helps!
To donate please visit the GSC dental program’s Go Fund Me campaign.

Camp Updates

Tent City 3 is still at the Skyway site on the southeast corner of 129th & Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Because this site is a vacant lot without access to power or running water, the camp needs help with paying for gasoline for their generator. If you stop by, you can fill one or more of their cans at the gas station across the street. Call the camp to discuss at 206-399-0412.
The camp is also in need of batteries of all sizes: AAA, AA, D and C.
TC3 is moving to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill on June 24th, where it will be for the summer months. However, the residents are actively seeking a host for a location after that stay and beyond. The site could be a church or a commercial site waiting for building permits. If you know of any potential host sites, please call SHARE 206/448-7889.

Camp United We Stand moved this month to Haller Lake United Methodist Church at 13055 1st Ave NE in north Seattle. The camp will be at this site until mid-August, when it will move to Richmond Beach Congregational Church of Christ in Shoreline. The camp is almost full, but may accept a few more residents to reach its maximum of 35.

Camp Unity Eastside is currently at the Northshore United Church of Christ in Woodinville at 18900 168th Ave. NE. The camp is down to 16 residents and is actively accepting new intakes.

Camp Second Chance is now fully supported by the City of Seattle through their fiscal agent, Patacara. They finally have electricity and water, and the camp is expanding to grow rapidly.

Program Updates

Our Magnificent Glean Team continues to provide food, toiletries, OTC medications and other sundries to these camps, as well as to a number of different shelters and organizations that help low-income neighbors meet basic needs. Recent donations include six bikes and outdoor furniture that we took to Ryan’s House for Youth, a shelter for homeless teens on Whidbey Island.

Through our gleaning connections, the newest Chipotle Mexican Grill on Lake City Way recently donated their pre-opening prepared food to us. We routed these burritos, bowls, chips, salsa and leftover ingredients to the various camps, to Mary’s Place in Shoreline, and to the feeding ministry at St. Dunstans’s Episcopal Church. Last week’s donation helped generate more than 1,000 meals! Thank you, Chipotle!

If you would like more detail on any of these topics please contact us at Info@GreaterSeattleCares.org

Thank you all for what you do to help those experiencing homelessness. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Denture Program is Back!

Last week you heard from Greater Seattle Cares blogger Christie Houghton about the wonderful new partnership between GSC, Medical Teams International, and the Husky Health Bridge: together we provide dental care to residents of Tent City 3. (And last Saturday the team ran a successful clinic at Camp Second Chance as well.)

But what about those camp residents who can’t take advantage of this incredible service because they have no teeth?

Some of you may remember that in 2012 Greater Seattle Cares initiated a program to help residents of Tent City 3 get dentures. It was a huge success! With our donors’ generous help, 26 camp residents received full or partial dentures - and many of them were able to get work and move back into permanent housing!

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, GSC suspended the program, since expanded health coverage gave more residents of homeless camps access to dental care and dentures – or so we thought. For the past several years, GSC has been referring folks for dentures, believing that Medicaid would pay. Only recently did we discover, to our dismay, that this is not always the case.

So, the Denture Program is back!

Why dentures? 

What does it mean to not have teeth? It means you can’t eat the meals that generous supporters provide to the encampment. You can eat only things that are very soft. You tend not to smile very much so your lack of teeth doesn’t show. People who meet you make automatic negative judgments. And if you’re living with chronic infections from broken teeth, that can even become life threatening.

Well-fitted dentures change all that and can be literally life-changing. Here are a couple of alumni from our 2012 program, Trudi and Shawn, before and after getting their dentures. Look at those smiles!

Trudi before
Trudi after

Trudi hadn’t had any upper teeth since someone stole her dentures while she was living in a shelter. After getting her new dentures, Trudi found she could eat things she hadn’t tasted in years. Best of all, when Trudi’s daughter got married that summer, Trudi was able to meet her daughter’s in-laws with confidence.

Shawn before
Shawn after

After getting his dentures, Shawn told us, “Last year I was out with some friends and someone made a comment about my bad teeth. It made me feel really bad. I like to smile. Now I can without feeling ashamed. Having the dentures gives a great uplifting feeling. I am able to chew my food, and I am regaining my health with better nutrition. I was one of the first to sign up – I was so excited I actually cried. Bless the people who donated money to make this happen for me.”

But we need your help. 

Clearly, this is an opportunity for us to make a significant difference in the life of a person who is experiencing homelessness – a difference that can lead to improved health, increased self-esteem, and the hope of moving back into the mainstream. GSC has developed a good working relationship with a first-class dentist and a denturist in Seattle who are helping us out with lowered prices. Now we just need the funds. Can you lend a hand?
  • $300 buys one tooth
  • $525 buys an upper or lower denture
  • $1150 provides an entire set of teeth
  • And any amount helps! 

Donating is easy! 

GSC has started a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $10,000 for this program. Click here to add your donation to the effort. And please share this blog post with your friends so we can get our camp residents smiling again!

Springtime is a time of hope. Let’s put some hope into the hearts of these homeless camp residents – and some teeth in their mouths!

Thank you. And God bless you.
The Greater Seattle Cares Board