Steer Town, Jamaica in the parish of St Ann’s. Northeastern coast of Jamaica, just west of Ocho Rios.
At Irie Outreach, our team of US-based dentists, assistants, and non-medical volunteers partner with our local team of residents to operate a free of charge dental clinic in Steer Town, Jamaica.
Steer Town is a unique, vibrant, pride-filled community, where there is no dentist or doctor, and the average monthly income rarely exceeds $200 USD per month. In the midst of its tremendous adversity, you find a community of people who embrace the idea that ‘everything will be Irie’. It will be met with love and respect. Out of this same love and respect, we started a dental clinic here. We built it with the intention that it will not only help alleviate immediate pain and serve an immediate need, but function as a vehicle for community health, education, and employment.
Our goal is to not come in and “fix” a community. It is to teach and to learn. To serve and be served. That is why our core philosophy is partnership with the local community, co-creating a place that both services it’s members and also provides short-term employment opportunities for local residents during clinic operations. Our commitment to community partnership is fueled by our 100% giving model. At Irie Outreach, we commit 100% of all donated funds directly to our program initiatives: Supplies and Materials, Equipment, Community, and Administration. All US-based affiliates are volunteers, and do not take a salary from the organization. To that end, we believe in donation transparency. Donors can select program initiatives to fund, and we will provide examples and updates of how and where your funds were utilized. The people of Steertown have trusted us in their community for nearly 20 years. It’s imperative to us that you can do the same.
We launched Irie Outreach because we acknowledge that the need is great, and it is more than any one of us can independently satisfy. It’s need arose from a community and it will take an even larger one to ensure its success. We invite you to be part of that community.
Irie Outreach was officially launched in the fall of 2018 by its co-founders who have held a shared passion for the community which started 20 years prior, on high school service trips to the area. The location which the clinic operates today, the Grace Community Center, is one that they and hundreds of other volunteers during the early 2000’s had a part in constructing. It was early on that the need for a dental clinic was identified and the goal of Irie Outreach took shape. With the monthly salary in Steer Town and surrounding communities averaging $200 USD, the cost of dental treatment being fairly comparable to that in the United States.
Our team members are committed to addressing this need and advancing the health of its residents by offering this free of charge clinic which operates exclusively on monetary and in-kind donations.
The cost of supplies, materials, and equipment currently dictate the level of dental services Irie Outreach can provide. While the goal is to afford a broad range of patient options, our current clinical offerings are limited. Our immediate goal has been to get patients out of pain, through surgical extractions, and eliminate infection that would otherwise cause potentially life-threatening conditions.
We also provide preventative cleanings and fluoride treatments for children and at-risk adults. Supplies and funds however, for fillings, root canals, and additional dental equipment are of the most immediate need, and our goal offering for the clinic by 2022.
By the end of 2023, Irie Outreach will lose its access to the Grace Community Center which it has operated in since it’s inception. Due to the expiration of a legacy land lease agreement on its existing building, Irie Outreach will be looking to secure an alternate site within the community and build a dental-specific clinic for its long-term operation. Irie Outreach is already working with community and government organizations to secure a parcel of available land (seeded by the government, at no charge).
Funds donated toward this effort would go toward the physical construction of the new clinic which would have a goal completion date of Q1 2024.
COVID-19 has hit the island of Jamaica especially hard since its onset. For a nation that thrives on tourism, countless individuals are out of work with few prospects to provide for their families. Hunger, while always a chronic problem within many communities, has been exponentially greater since COVID-19. Irie Outreach, while due to COVID-19, is not able to currently operate its clinic until cleared by the Ministry of Health, is instead shifting its focus, in part, to address this more immediate need of food access. Working with our local team members, we are using donated funds to create food basket deliveries to Steer Town community members in need.
Your donated funds toward this effort will be directed in their entirety to food purchase and distribution.