Between 2011 and 2015, the Governor of the State of Michigan appointed a series of emergency managers for the city of Flint, which was in receivership.
Flint used to have a large industrial base, as it was once the birth place of General Motors.
Jobs left Flint.
The city was abandoned by industry.
There was no tax base.
The city went bankrupt.
To save money, emergency managers switched the water supply from the Detroit River to the Flint River and because the Flint River was contaminated, they dumped a load of chemicals into the water system to offset any contaminants.
These chemicals corroded the water pipes and exposed lead in the pipes, which leached into the drinking water and poisoned many Flint residents.
Enter CROSSING WATER, a relief organization that set up teams of social workers and other support staff to go directly into the homes of residents to deliver safe, bottled drinking water, and then, to educate residents about the safe and correct way to use water filters in their homes.
They also help Flint residents with other immediate needs such as food, clothing, medical services, and will connect households with any other social services from which they can benefit.
Crossing Water will try to redress any issue possible when they see a need arise.
Volunteers have been known to install taps, make carpentry repairs in homes, and find furniture and appliances for homes that do not have such items. It would also not be unusual to see a volunteer reading a book to a child while a worker fits a filter on a water tap.
I attended a training last Saturday and spent the day with Mike, Laurie, and a room full of social workers who work tirelessly to bring a bit of respite and relief to citizens of Flint who have been largely abandoned by federal, state and local authorities.
I’ll make a disclaimer here: Michael is friend of mine from years ago, and I think the world of him and his partner, Laurie. They’re doing such good work.
If you would like to donate to Crossing Water you may do so here.
Thank you for your consideration.