Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 5¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

The Highland Lakes Crisis Network is adding healthcare to its client services, expanding on its mission to improve the lives of underserved populations. The nonprofit, located at 700 Avenue T in Marble Falls, already provides housing, food, and clothes. It soon will open dental and medical clinics in portable buildings near the office.

During a Sept. 6 planning meeting, HLCN Executive Director Kevin Naumann explained the need to volunteers.

“We have been talking for some time about how to support our clients and people we interact with in the community that are in need of, specifically, medical and dental care,” he said. 

The idea for a dental clinic took root after the HLCN partnered with Texas Dental Association to host a Texas Mission of Mercy event in February at Marble Falls High School. More than 500 patients received over $600,000 of free dental work during the two-day clinic.

“That opened our eyes to how many people needed care in this community on the pain side,” Naumann said.

The Crisis Network received dental equipment from Dr. William Davies after the longtime dentist closed his Houston practice.

“We’ve had it for some time and we’ve started to get it set up,” Naumann said.

The nonprofit plans to cater its services to adults rather than children so it doesn’t step on the toes of other nonprofits in the area, such as Smart Smiles, which offers free services to area students.

“The kids’ side, Smart Smiles, takes care of the preventive stuff,” Naumann said. “There might be some kids’ things here, but the parents don’t really have an outlet. We see a ton of people that need that sort of thing.”

Naumann said the clinic will soon be operational.

“The dental (clinic) is right at the launch point,” he said. “We’re ready to go with that as soon as we get a list of volunteers and get the equipment checked off, which should be in a matter of a week or two before it’s ready to go.”

The medical clinic, however, is further down the road.

It “has been a harder nut to crack, from a medical malpractice and liability perspective,” Naumann said. “There are people doing it, so, eventually, I’d like to get there because I know there’s a need. But we still need to explore.”

Naumann believes the clinics will contribute to happier, healthier, and more prosperous communities in its service area.

“In everything we do, we just try to mobilize people to serve others,” he said. “(The clinics) provide lots of touchpoints for people to go and love on people. In order to do all of this well, we’re going to need some help.”

The nonprofit plans to hold another meeting on the two projects at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 19 at its Marble Falls office.

Learn more about the Highland Lakes Crisis Network’s services on its website.