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Apple Project free dental clinic to open Thursday

Thursday, the Apple Project free dental clinic will open its doors.
The Apple Project free dental clinic will open Thursday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's a big day for thousands of people on our First Coast who can't afford a dentist.

Thursday, the Apple Project free dental clinic will open its doors.

Organizers say it's the only free dental clinic in Jacksonville. It's geared for low-income people with no insurance who qualify under state guidelines.

The new clinic has six dental chairs, a significant upgrade from only two chairs in the old, tiny dental clinic.

About six thousand people will be served by the new facility, including Jennifer Bluhm.

After nearly 18 months of waiting, Bluhm found out she was accepted to receive free dental care through the Apple Project.

"I'm glad that the Apple Project is out there for people, and a lot of people don't even know that it's there," she says.

After a series of health problems, Bluhm says most of her teeth are ruined. She has a June 12 appointment at the new Apple Project facility where a dentist will decide what to do next.

"At this point, I'm just to the point they should pull them all and start over," she says.

Bluhm is in a lot of pain and has to eat primarily soft foods. She's hopeful the care she receives at the new facility will put her on a path to getting a new smile.

"One of the first things people see when they meet you and judge you is your mouth," she says.

The Weaver Family Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida matched donations 1 to 1 during the Apple Project. The community came forward with cash and in-kind donations reaching a million dollars.

Community Health Outreach/Healing Hands is the non-profit running the clinic.

To get on the waiting list, you'll need to pick up an application from the clinic:

Click here to see the state guidelines and if you're eligible for free dental care.