News

Grant Allows Good Neighbor House to Expand Services

By Monte Sahlin

Good Neighbor House (GNH) in Dayton, Ohio, was recently awarded its first government grant from the Montgomery County Human Services Levy to expand its dental clinic. GNH will receive $79,130 this year and a minimum of $121,000 in 2011.

Opened in 1994 and initially funded with the help of area Seventh-day Adventist churches and hospitals, GNH has provided a dental clinic for more than a decade to meet the needs of those in the Dayton metro area without dental coverage. Volunteer dentists staff the clinic, which was previously open two evenings a week. The grant allows GNH to add three afternoons of services. The need for this kind of care has become more and more pronounced as employers trim back health benefits and as unemployment in Dayton grows. The waiting list is nearly four months, although some exceptions have been made for emergency situations.

In 2008 alone, more than 19,000 individuals accessed many of GNH’s services.
In early 2007, two graduate research assistants conducted a major needs assessment. It included interviews with many civic leaders and health professionals throughout the area. The interviews indicated that no other agency in the metro area was providing a dental clinic, and there was a strong consensus that GNH should expand its services in this area.

“We could never do what we do without our volunteers,” explained Tiffany Collie, development director. “We have 250 active volunteers who range from 2 to 95 years old. They are the heart and backbone of Good Neighbor House.”

Dave Hutman, pastor of the Stillwater church in Vandalia, has volunteered at GNH from the beginning. “Helping others is what we are called to do,” he said. “It’s really cool that we’ve gotten this funding. It’s really exciting how the place has grown to become a significant provider of human services in Dayton.”

Dayton area churches, such as Beaver Creek, Centerville, Ethan Temple, Hillcrest, Kettering, Miamisburg, New Carlisle, and Stillwater, continue to support GNH. Adventist doctors and dentists have played a key role in the dental, medical, and optical clinics it offers. Other denominations also regularly provide volunteers and funding to GNH. In addition to the clinic, GNH provides basic social services, health and wellness education, and spiritual care.

For more information on GNH, email tiffany.collie@goodneighborhouse.org, or call (937) 224-3003, ext. 107.