Understanding Homeless Not Toothless, Dorit Kemsley's Cause Célèbre
Bravoheads have a lot of follow-up questions about last night's impossible-sounding gala
On last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, clandestine smoker Dorit Kemsley held the event of the year: the Homeless Not Toothless Gala, benefitting a 501c3 nonprofit of the same name on whose board she sits. Not since NeNe Leakes threw the Girls & Gays Never Forget All White Seafood Soirée on The Real Housewives of Atlanta has a dinner on the Bravo network been so uniquely vexing.
You might think that all my questions about Homeless Not Toothless may have been answered by me pressing play on my iPod Nano and listening to the anthem “Homeless Not Toothless Song” by Darby Anne Walker.
You’d be wrong though, because the chanteuse doesn’t mention teeth once.
What is Homeless Not Toothless, why are they hellbent on ending toothlessness rather than homelessness, and why does Dorit sit on the board alongside Sharon Stone, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman? According to HoNoTo’s website, the organization was founded in 1992 when dentist Dr. Jay Grossman decided that he no longer found giving food and money to unhoused people was sufficient.
“One day, while reaching for another dollar bill to hand out to another homeless man, Dr. Jay felt his business card. Not knowing if that card would or could make a difference, he went with his gut,” the website reports. Within 7 months, Dr. Grossman had performed 100 procedures without charge for LA’s homeless population in collaboration with the Venice Family Center shelter. From there, it grew into the bustling Dorit-backed org it is today, reportedly having treated more than 100,000 patients to $7.7 million worth of services. Sweet!
However, it seems like emergency procedures might be out of the question, as the organization requires homeless patients to have proof of a minimum of 90 days of sobriety and “must be actively engaged in finding work” in order to benefit from Homeless Not Toothless’s services.
The charity assessment organization Charity Navigator gives Homeless Not Toothless an overall ranking of 54 out of 100, a failing grade. The Google Reviews from people trying to become Homeless Not Toothless patients are also not so smiley.
Likely to keep costs low, the organization pairs with fourth year dental students who are willing to perform inexpensive work.
They’ve also been accused by at least one person trying to access their services of being a donation-laundering scheme.
Maybe Dorit should stick to supporting the less privileged populations of LA by raising awareness for Jamie Lee Curtis’s chic charity windchimes.