The Indiana University School of Dentistry announced this week that it will assist homeless veterans who are currently searching for gainful employment by giving them free dental care. The dental services will be made possible by a $12,000 grant from the Dental Pipeline National Learning Institute.
University officials believe providing homeless veterans with various dental treatment will help their public appearance and in return, improve their chances of being hired.
"A person without front teeth, for example, is likely to find it difficult to be hired for a job in a restaurant," said Karen Yoder, director of civic engagement and health policy and a professor of preventive and community dentistry, in a statement released on the university's website. "Our goal is not to make anyone glamorous, just aesthetically prepared for a job interview."
According to Yoder, Indiana veterans who have a high chance of finding a job will be selected through the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation.
An August 2013 report from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority found that there were 743 homeless veterans in the state, accounting for 12 percent of Indiana's more than 6,000 homeless individuals.