Flint Water Crisis Information

Flint Water Tower

As the Flint water crisis has unfolded, many of our community members have asked for information about how they might become engaged. We are establishing this page as an information source for people interested in learning about the crisis, those needing services, and those interested in opportunities for engagement. Positions expressed in background articles and editorials do not reflect endorsements by the School of Social Work (SSW), nor is the School promoting one type of service or activity over another. If you have additional information you would like the School to consider posting on this page, please send it to Steve Anderson at stevea@msu.edu.

Crisis Intervention and Emergency Services – Services, Donations, and Volunteers

  • On Friday, Feb 17, The Michigan Civil Rights Commission will hold a public meeting to adopt and release its final report on the Flint water crisis and recommendations for action. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights will also host an evening program to repeat the presentation on the Commission's findings. February 17, 2017 at the Northbank Center Grand Ballroom, 432 N Saginaw St, Flint. The Commission meeting will release the report at 2 pm and the evening presentation will take place from 6 - 8 pm. Contact Shawn Sanford, 313-456-3843 or SanfordS1@Michigan.gov by 5 pm Feb 13, for special accommodation requests or questions.
  • TheWaterLog.org is intended as a tool for people to voice their concerns, interact with a community of like-minded individuals and expose just how large this problem is. As they collect data from various water tests around the country, they will be aggregating and publishing the data with the hope of creating meaningful change regarding the state of infrastructure in the country. They are currently also looking for volunteers to move the project forward. Email info@thewaterlog.org for more information.
  • Bottom Line Issue 1: This infographic and accompanied website FlintCares.com have valuable updated information about water resources and water filter use for Flint residents
  • Researchers at Michigan State University and WKAR in collaboration with Flint residents have developed and app to provide residents with a step-by-step checklist of the most important action items they should take to protect themselves, their families and even their pets in dealing with the lead water crisis. The app is available for both Android and Apple iOS smart phones and tablets and can be found on EmpowerFlint.org.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has announced the opening of several neighborhood-based water resource distribution sites. Emergency responders refer to these as Community PODS or CPODS.
    • The following sites are now operating and distributing water, filters, replacement cartridges, and water test kits. Water bottles, PUR and Brita filters, and water samples from test kits can also be returned at these locations:
      • CPOD 1, Ross Plaza, 2320 W Pierson Rd
      • CPOD 3, Greater Holy Temple, 6702 N Dort Highway
      • CPOD 6, West Court Street Church of God, 2920 W Court St
    • Hours of operation for the sites above are:
      • 12-6pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
      • 12-8pm Tuesday, Friday
      • Closed Sunday
  • Water heater replacement program funded by a $500,000 grant from MDHHS to the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (G-CARD). The fund will replace up to 250 water heaters for residents through G-CARD's Weatherization program.
    • G-CARD has created a waiting list and residents are encouraged to call (810) 232-2185 to get on the list
    • Program will be income-qualified but is open to both homeowners and renters
    • Water heaters will be inspected to determine if they need to be replaced.
    • New water heaters will be installed in homes on a first come first served basis.
    • Full story on NBC 25 News
  • The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and DHHS have announced mobile food pantry stops to distribute foods rich in calcium, vitamin C and iron that can help limit the effects of lead exposure. Food distribution sites remain open while supplies last. For more information, visit the Food Bank website at www.FBEM.org or call 810-239-4441.
  • The U.S. Department of Education has been working with Federal partners to identify resources for those possibly affected. The below resources on helping to lower lead levels in children and adults were created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), following the emergency events in Flint, and to specifically help address the needs and concerns of the citizens of Flint during this time.
  • NASW-Michigan continues to help recruit and coordinate volunteers in Flint. Sign up for the NASW volunteer list. This will get you looped into volunteer opportunities. The majority of volunteers have served under the coordination of Crossing Water, on Rapid Response Service Teams (RRST), providing not only water and filters but critical educational materials, instruction, and referrals. To learn more about what this work entails and sign up immediately for water distribution, RRST teams, and providing food for volunteers, visit their website. You can also donate to Crossing Water.
  • NASW-Michigan has partnered with Genesee Health Systems (Genesee County CMH) to address stress management and other crisis counseling needs. GHS needs additional social work students and social workers to assist with their water crisis counseling centers on Tuesdays 11-3 and Fridays 8-10. They are adding more sites and do not currently have spare staffing for these. The goal is to be able to provide crisis counseling in the community, 5 days a week (M-F). What this entails is providing support, information, resources and reflective listening to individuals affected by the water crisis. Typically they provide this in settings where people are receiving food, water, and other necessities. Training and supervision is provided. The contact person for GHS is Elizabeth Burtch – eburtch@genhs.org.
  • Flint Neighborhoods United, a coalition of block club, neighborhood association and crime watch captains and presidents working to create positive change in the Greater Flint community, has an information and resource sharing web site. The site also maintains an events calendar.
  • MSU Partners for Flint is coordinating volunteer and fundraising opportunities through this website. The opportunities provided through the site, as well as the organizations hosting them, are endorsed by the MSU Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement
  • The Salem Lutheran Church is distributing water, food, and other supplies to residents, and seeks volunteers to help in various ways. Contact Reverend Monica Villarreal (SSW MSW student)for details on needs and opportunities (mvillarreallstc@gmail.com). Salem Lutheran Church, 2610 Martin Luther King Avenue, Flint.
  • Catholic Charities seeks donations of water, water filters, diapers, infant formula, wipes and cash donations. If sending cash, indicate in the memo line that you are donating for water crisis efforts. Also seeking volunteers. Catholic Charities, 901 Chippewa St., Flint, MI, 48503. Contact Ann Lesniak [mailto:annmarielesniak@gmail.com].
  • St. Mary's Church is focusing on distributing water to undocumented persons. The church is located on Flint's east side at 2500 N. Franklin Ave. Drop-offs are accepted daily from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For those near the School of Social Work in East Lansing, SSW faculty member Lynn Nee has offered to accept water donations and drop them off at the church in Flint.
  • The Crossroads District of the Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church has established 8 neighborhood Resource Centers located in each of their Flint United Methodist churches. They are distributing Faucet Filter Systems, Replacement Filters, Zero-Water Pitchers, Water Testing Kits and Educational Materials about combating effects of lead and healthy eating habits. They DO NOT REQUIRE any documentation in order to receive supplies and welcome any persons in need. Please contact Peter J. Plum, Emergency Water Crisis Coordinator, Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church with any questions (810) 624-5577 or plumfamily1@gmail.com. The eight resource centers are located at:
    • Asbury UMC, 1653 Davison Rd, Flint, MI 48506
    • Bethel UMC, 1309 N Ballenger Hwy, Flint, MI 48504
    • Calvary UMC, 2111 Flushing Rd, Flint, MI 48504
    • Charity UMC, 4601 Clio Rd # 1, Flint, MI 48504
    • Court Street, UMC, 225 W Court St, Flint, MI 48502
    • Eastwood UMC, 3312 Whittier Ave, Flint, MI 48506
    • Faith UMC, 2266 Coldwater Rd, Flint, MI 48505
    • Lincoln Park UMC, Fenton Rd, Flint, MI 48507
  • The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is accepting donations of 100 cases or more of water (must be in pallet form and wrapped). Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, 2300 Lapeer Rd., Flint. Donors must call ahead (810-239-4441) to schedule a dock time for delivery. Donations of multiple semi-truck loads can be made by calling Keri Brack at 810-239-4441. Please Note: At this time pick-ups are not available, all water must be delivered to Flint by the donor.
  • The Salvation Army of Genesee County is accepting donations via smartphone by texting “WATER” to 91999. Working in conjunction with other Flint-based service organizations, The Salvation Army is collecting funds to help purchase water, filters and pay delinquent water bills for residents who have received shutoff notifications. Donations will also be used to provide additional services related to the water crisis in the community as they arise.
  • The Red Cross needs volunteers to participate in water response teams going door-to-door handing out bottled water, filters, water testing kits and replacement cartridges. Volunteers join teams of city, county and state personnel and members of the American Red Cross. Volunteers should call Christie White of the Red Cross at 810-280-0303 to schedule times to come in.
  • Flint Water Response Team. The Governor’s Office has set up a Flint Water Response Team and is seeking volunteers. Volunteer at http://www.flintvolunteer.com/volunteer-opportunities.html. See website for other ways to assist: http://www.michigan.gov/flintwater
  • The United Way of Genesee County, Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Hurley Children’s Hospital and the Greater Flint Health Coalition have created a fund that will address both the short-term and long-term needs of Flint residents. The Community Foundation is managing all financial donations and no administrative fee is assessed. Visit www.flintkids.org or call the United Way at 810-232-8121 or Community Foundation of Greater Flint at 810-767-8279 for more information.
  • Keep Genesee County Beautiful is helping to recycle the plastic bottles and water filters generated during this crisis. It is especially important to properly recycle the filters as they may contain hazardous materials which could be harmful if disposed in a landfill. For more information, please visit http://kgcb.net/
  • GST MICHIGAN WORKS! is accepting applications for paid positions to aid with water distribution to Flint residents. A total of 81 positions are available to fill Leadership and Team Member positions for 9 Point of Delivery locations. For more information, visit the GST Michigan Works! website: www.gstmiworks.org/hotjobs, or follow on Twitter and Facebook. All positions will also be posted on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect www.mitalent.org and postings will be available in the Employment Services area of GST Michigan Works! located at 711 North Saginaw St. in Flint.
  • The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan, in cooperation with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint, is involved in water, filter, and food distribution. Several partners are involved in the actual distribution – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Soup Kitchen, Crossover Downtown Outreach Ministries, and Christ Enrichment Center. For more information, visit this site: eastmich.org/the-flint-water-crisis-episcopalians-respond-in-faith/, or contact Director of Communications and Public Engagement Katie Forsyth at kforsyth@eastmich.org or at 877-752-6020.
  • The Michigan Alliance for Families (MAF) has posted information and resources on Lead Poisoning on michiganallianceforfamilies.org, including children's development through early intervention and special education services. These services are free to families. Sherry Lynch-Kenworthy, MAF Genesee County Parent Mentor and Information & Referral Staff can directly provide information, referrals and assistance regarding children who have or may have been exposed to lead. For more information, call 800.552.4821.

    MAF also has developed these flyers on lead poisoning in the following languages: English, Spanish & Arabic

  • Crossing Water is a nonprofit organization created to respond to the Flint water crisis. It features interdisciplinary Rapid Response Service Teams (RRST) that go door-to-door in Flint assisting residents with water and related problems they are facing; the group also works to create public awareness concerning the Flint water crisis. It consists of a diverse array of students and community volunteers. It is working closely with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Michigan to recruit and coordinate volunteers, and you may use this form to indicate your interest in volunteering both to Crossing Water and other volunteer efforts. For more on the work of Crossing Waters, listen to this NPR interview with Co-Director Michael Hood. Updates on Crossing Water activities and related information also can be found on the Crossing Water Facebook page, and the group currently is developing a web page: crossingwater.org.

Health and Mental Health

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Dr Mona Hanna-Attisha of Hurley Children's Hospital
  • MDHHS issues Legionella warning in Flint as temperatures rise. Anyone with pneumonia-like symptoms is advised to see a doctor immediately. Read the MLIve article on the warning.
  • The Medicaid Waiver/Expansion for Flint is presented in an article from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Read the full article here.
    Key elements of the expansion include:
    • Expansion of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)1 eligibility for children and pregnant women with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL, $80,640 per year for a household of three in 2016) served by the Flint water system
    • A waiver of cost-sharing and premiums for Flint beneficiaries
    • Expansion of the Medicaid Targeted Case Management benefit to coordinate health and related community support services for all Medicaid-eligible children and pregnant women served by the Flint water system.
  • The Community Foundation Greater Flint seeks donations for the Flint Child Health & Development Fund, which will be used to aid children with interventions that support positive health outcomes for Flint children. This includes the long-term effects of lead on developing children. For details of this program, see: https://www.cfgf.org/cfgf/GoodWork/FlintArea/WaterCrisis/tabid/855/Default.aspx
  • Flint Pediatric Public Health Initiative Fund. Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital established this initiative to address the Flint community’s population-wide lead exposure and help all Flint children grow up healthy and strong. http://humanmedicine.msu.edu/pphi/default.htm
  • Genesee Health Systems will offer on-site crisis counselors directly in the community to support those dealing with stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns and to address the growing concern of Flint residents and families regarding our current water crisis.
    See the Genesee Health website for the latest details.
  • The Flint Community Resilience Group was formed to help coordinate and plan the behavioral health response to the Flint water crisis. For information, contact Danis Russell, Chief Executive Officer, Genesee Health System, 420 W. 5th Avenue, Flint, MI 48503, phone 810.257.3707.

Educational Initiatives and Background Information

  • NASW-Michigan and StoneCrest Center are hosting a FREE Continuing Education event, Protecting Our Kids: The Long Term Effects of Lead Poisoning with Dr. Lauren O'Connell, at UM-Flint on the long-term impacts of lead exposure and you are invited. The room has also been booked for an extra hour+ afterwards (until 8:30) for social workers and community members from Flint and the surrounding area to join for a conversation about the current status of the Flint water crisis; what more should be done; getting involved with Crossing Water. Please consider joining for this conversation. It is critical to know what support is needed in this crisis. Free registration here. Please RSVP so they have a head count and can ensure enough space is available.
  • Michigan State University, U of M and U of M - Flint are teaming up to form the Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center to ensure community needs stay at the forefront in current and future research efforts in the Flint community. More information at MSU Today.
  • The Flint Public Library has set up a Flint Water Emergency Resources website to further help disseminate helpful information.
  • Independent report commissioned by Gov. Snyder releases report. The commission reviewed documents and interviewed 60 officials, finding, “The Flint water crisis is a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction, and environmental injustice.” The commission outlined three goals for the report:
    1. Clarify and simplify the narrative regarding the roles of the parties involved, and assign accountability clearly and unambiguously.
    2. Highlight the causes for the failures of government that precipitated the crisis and suggest measures to prevent such failures in the future.
    3. Prescribe recommendations to care for the Flint community and to use the lessons of Flint’s experience to better safeguard Michigan residents.
    Full report available at: www.michigan.gov/documents/snyder/FWATF_FINAL_REPORT_21March2016_517805_...
  • The US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has held three hearings on the Safe Drinking Water Act and lead contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan. The first hearing on 2/3/2016 included Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water, Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan DEQ, Marc Edwards, a water expert at Virginia Tech University, and Flint resident LeeAnne Walters, who helped to spur the investigation.

    Marc Edwards testified again at the second hearing on 3/15/2016 which also included Susan Hedman, former U.S. EPA region 5 Administrator, Darnell Earley, former emergency manager of Flint, and Dayne Walling, the former mayor of Flint. The third hearing on 3/17/2016 included Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. View the full testimony of the hearings: February 3, 2016, March 15, 2016 and March 17, 2016.

  • The Detroit Free Press distributed a special “Helping Flint” guide on Saturday, February 27. 100,000 copies were printed and will be made available throughout the city. The online guide provides information and resources on a number of issues related to the water crisis.
  • Empower Flint is a new mobile app to help residents of Flint find community resources and services. App development was led by ComArtSci, Games for Entertaining and Learning Lab and WKAR-TV. The developers plan to update and revise the app as new information becomes available and as community needs evolve. Download the app for Apple iOS and Android devices at www.empowerflint.org.
  • FlintH2O is a Flint-based, community-led, media-centered start-up designed to help residents access resources, information, and services. It also provides linkages to volunteer opportunities for both organizations and individuals. www.h2oflint.com
  • Flint: It’s Not Just about the Water by Jacque Wilson Smith and Jeremy Moorhead, CNN. This article provides historical and current information on a number of issues facing Flint besides the water crisis.
  • The Department of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Michigan-Flint is offering a free eight-session course to the community on various aspects of the crisis. The two-hour sessions also are videotaped and available for viewing online. Descriptions of the course, individual sessions, and the session videotapes all can be found at: https://www.umflint.edu/flintwatercrisis
  • Michigan State University has created a webpage that details ongoing MSU initiatives related to the crisis and also presents educational materials on related topics: http://mispartanimpact.msu.edu/stories/flint/
  • MSU Extension has developed educational materials related to available food resources in Flint, as well as the importance of education in combating lead exposure: http://humanmedicine.msu.edu/pphi/MSUE_Fight_Lead_With_Nutrition.pdf
  • What Went Wrong in Flint, by Anna Maria Barry-Jester - Background article on the Flint Water Crisis.