At Local Fresh, we appreciate the volunteer work of our colleagues and clients as they serve our community. In that spirit, we publish a regular feature in order to focus on these volunteer efforts!
The following quote sums up the mission of Rose Haven, a Portland organization with which Local Fresh had the privilege of partnering earlier this year in conjunction with Advanced Dental Arts NW:
“We are a sanctuary from the street, offering compassion, practical assistance, & community to women and children facing loss of home, abuse, and other life disrupting experiences.”
Dentist in Portland, Oregon Dr. Russell Teasdale and his team at Advanced Dental Arts Northwest volunteered to come in on a day when they are normally closed. They did general exams and cleanings for 10 hours and saw approximately 20 women and children.
Charlotte Kammer, a colleague at Local Fresh, provided a rose for each woman who was seen, who said, “I met a mother and daughter, and the mother spoke no English so the daughter interpreted. There were tears in both of their eyes as they thanked anyone who would listen. The mother hadn’t been seen by a dentist for years. Just getting a cleaning and exam allowed her to feel like she was taken care of – that she mattered.”
Rose Haven is a one-stop community and intervention center for women and children experiencing the trauma of abuse and homelessness in Portland, Oregon. Rose Haven promotes self-sufficiency by providing on-site advocacy, informal counseling and referral services that assist women in obtaining housing, medical, and legal services. They provide help with a large variety of issues such as, housing, domestic violence, financial assistance, drug and alcohol dependence, securing identification papers, legal referrals, education as well as medical and mental health referrals. Women and children go there for resources that get them on the road to a new start.
“I think the most important thing that Rose Haven offered is hope,” Charlotte added. “I also met a woman who is a “regular” at Rose Haven who used to be homeless, but has transitioned but still visits Rose Haven everyday. She’s trying to find a job. Rose Haven offers job-search tools ranging from skill training to providing professional attire for interviews. She said that going to Rose Haven during their drop-in hours gives her a routine to her day. Most importantly, it gives her hope. If Rose Haven gives her hope, she said the dental cleaning and exam gave her confidence. She did, in fact, smile bigger after seeing Dr. Teasdale. It was amazing to be a part of this event.”