More than 200 homeless and low-income individuals received free dental and vision care over the weekend at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis through the help of 72 health professionals and some of America’s highest-ranking health officials: Dr. Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General, and Dr. Brett Giroir, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health.
The two-day clinic featured dental services such as cleanings, fillings, and extractions. Vision care included eye exams, and free glasses via an onsite lab (pictured). The event was organized by Remote Area Medical and included many professionals from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
“There’s not a place I can think of where folks are more in need than at a homeless shelter,” said Adams, who is often referred to as the “Nation’s Doctor.” “We’re happy to be here and we’re grateful for this partnership.”
Giroir, too, was thrilled to serve so many people who have trouble accessing healthcare.
“There are a lot of people who can’t see the top of the eye chart, and when they put their glasses on for the first time, it’s like a whole new world has opened up,” Giroir said. “So many people have come here and said, ‘I’m blessed to be here.’ It’s been very inspirational.”
Many of the patients who attended the clinic are residents of Salvation Army housing and shelter programs. Others reside in different Twin Cities shelters and housing programs that collaborate with The Salvation Army.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to host this event and to share this much-needed resource with those who live outside of the Harbor Light Center,” said Trish Thacker, executive director of the Harbor Light Center. “The majority of the people who attended this clinic do not have regular access to dental and vision care. We thank Remote Area Medical for helping us fill this critical need.”
The Harbor Light Center provides emergency and transitional housing for hundreds of people every night, along with hot meals, case management, spiritual care, and much more.
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