Kelowna Gospel Mission dental services director Shirley Goebel and the mission's executive director Randy Benson in one of the new suites in the renovated dental clinic.

Kelowna Gospel Mission dental clinic expanded

Free clinic for working poor and homeless more than doubles in size with a major renovation.

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission has celebrated the 10th anniversary of its dental clinic by expanding it to more than double its previous size.

The clinic, located in the Gospel Mission’s building on Leon Avenue, recently underwent a major renovation that added three more dental suites to the two already there.

The clinic serves the needs of low-income people in Kelowna, as well as the homeless, using the services of volunteer dentists and local dental office staff.

The clinic now has two dentists on staff making up one full-time equivalent position.

“We’ve been doing this for 10 years and we see this as the beginning of a new decade for dental services here,” said Gospel Mission executive director Randy Benson.

 

Benson said in addition to the volunteer services of close to 100 local dentists and dental office staff members over the last 10 years, the clinic has provided an estimated

$2 million in free dental services during that time.

 

He said the need to expand the clinic was recognized in recent years and thanks to generous donations from several unidentified donors, the renovations have been completed.

On Thursday, the new-look, larger clinic was officially opened.

While the mission is not revealing how much the work to expand the clinic cost, KGM staff say a large donation from a single donor helped foot the bill.

The mission is planning two fundraisers—one in September and another in October—to raise the $75,000 it still requires to pay for the project.

Over the years, the clinic has helped thousands of people, including the “working poor,” seniors, families and children.

It has become so busy that there is now a three- to four-month waiting list for services.

Dental services director Shirley Goebel said she hopes that with the addition of the three new suites and more volunteer staff, that waiting period can be reduced.

The clinic offers full dental services, including basic restorative care, pain and infection control, extractions and basic hygiene.

And the services provided are appreciated by those that use them.

“I needed dental work and I got it done here,” said John, a patient who moved to Kelowna from Victoria with his partner in 2010.

He said without the mission he would not have been able to get his two front teeth capped after breaking them.

While his partner has had more extensive work done at the clinic—work she could not get done in Victoria because she couldn’t afford it—John said the mission’s dental clinic has helped a lot of people like him.

Sitting in the new lobby of the clinic, he looked around wide-eyed, saying he could not believe how much larger it is now.

“They have done a tremendous job,” he said.

awaters@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Work continuing on new Kelowna visitor centre

Crews working through winter on downtown lakeshore site to have building ready for this summer

Pizza delivery car stolen during Kelowna delivery

While delivering a late night pizza, man has car stolen, then runs to recover it

Kelowna’s Serwa named to Olympic team

Kelsey Serwa is one of eight Canadian ski cross athletes headed to PyeongChang

Vernon Search & Rescue find lost snowmobiler

Male, 19, went missing in Hunter’s Range area near Enderby

Kelowna attraction set to re-open after 2017 floods

Scandia’s popular Jungle Golf, downstairs, has been closed since being damaged in Kelowna floods

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Angels at The Mule

Penticton nightclub introduces angel shots for safety

Dryer explosion at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read