HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Community Free Dental Clinic in Huntsville has been a saving grace for Madison County residents with nowhere else to turn.
"I had a gentleman that came in five or six weeks ago, and he had an abscess and I asked him how long it had been going on," recalls Ginger Finzel, Executive Director of the clinic. "He said seven months, and I said 'how have you managed the pain for seven months?' and he said 'ma`am I didn't have any other choice until someone at the bus stop told me about you."
Open since just March of 2013, the need has been proven to be greater than the space available. Lately they have been seeing more than 20 patients a day, during the only four hours they are open.
"We are literally just bumping elbows and it`s the only way to squeeze by to get into the rooms," said Finzel.
Fortunately, owners have just signed a lease on a new building, on Whitesburg Drive. The owner offered to lease it for minimal rent. But it's not up to code.
It needs expensive renovations that would cost nearly $150,000, more than double the clinic`s yearly budget.
"It`s a major undertaking and we`re looking for folks who might have that talent or a business that might like to donate their services to us to help us with that. Ceiling, flooring, heating, air, electrical."
If you can`t donate money, they hope you`ll give your time. Electricians, or people willing to help lay tile flooring.
They are also in need of volunteers. When they began, the clinic had 40 dentists regularly volunteering. The number has dropped to 17. They're also asking Registered Nurses to donate their time, only once a week or even once a month.
You can contact the clinic via their website or at 256-489-1853.