Kristen Keogh, Host
McQuaid Mission Episode 10 Highlights
Over 11,000 Arizona residents are homeless.
Every other week we dedicate a full episode to the news, progress and innovations surrounding homelessness in Phoenix with our McQuaid Mission series.
This week’s episode explores a regional collaborative to end homelessness and how dental care can transform communities.
Read the highlights from Episode 10 of the McQuaid Mission below.
Regional Collaborative of Homelessness
Shana Ellis explains that the Action Nexus organization at Arizona State University has recently organized a Regional Collaborative of Homelessness (RCH). This organization comprises of nonprofits from across the county with different specialties and services.
The goal of the RCH is to create a holistic county-wide strategy to decrease the homeless population locally. The collaborative is still in the initial planning phase of their efforts. But, they plan to enter the “implementation” step of their strategy on June 10, and spend the summer coordinating so that they can launch their first action initiatives in the fall.
Save the Family Success Story
For couple Claire and Kip, Save the Family became a literal family that was crucial to their transition out of homelessness. Claire recalls feeling loved and cared for in a way they hadn’t before by their caseworkers at the non-profit organization. Claire and Kip especially benefited from the “skills to pay the bills” finance and parenting classes.
“Anybody thinking about donating, they really have no idea how much is behind that dollar,” says Claire.
Local Leader to Leader Q&A
A Brighter Way
Dr. Kris Volcheck, CEO & Founder of Brighter Way Institute brings free dental care to the homeless community in Arizona. He explains that aesthetics are the beginning of how dental care can transform the lives of people.
According to Volcheck many homeless individuals struggle because they can’t maintain consistent care when they are suffering from a dental ailment. They may receive antibiotics from a center, but once those drugs are gone, the same problems usually come back. Volcheck says that aside from health and a standard quality of life, dental care is imperative to employment and a complete transition into American society.
Brighter Way Institute is primarily staffed by volunteer dentists. Many are still training and gaining experience. Many have also never encountered homeless individuals on a personal level. Volcheck explains how the process of dental work transforms both the patient and the provider, which closes the loop of truly transforming a community.