GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Five years ago Thursday, Flint city officials flipped the switch, sending water from the river through pipes to thousands of homes, schools, and businesses. A historic day for all the wrong reasons.
Untreated Flint River water corroded pipes, lead leached into the drinking water, poisoning people. Investigators linked 12 deaths to the crisis, due to a legionnaires outbreak. 24 Hour News 8 talked with a Community Foundation of Greater Flint representative on where the city stands.
Vice President of Community Impact Sue Peters said there is still a lot of uncertainty for Flint families. Families want to know they will have clean drinking water for the long haul moving forward. Peters said trust needs to be built back up in the Flint community.
The Community Foundation of Greater Flint is an organization created for Flint kids, impacted by lead poisoning. It currently holds a $20 million fund to help meet the needs of Flint kids. The foundation has been able to provide programs like building a playground, early childhood classrooms and a mobile mental health unit. Peters said this is just the beginning.
“There’s definitely still immediate needs that families are facing and at times it’s harder to see that longer-term vision,” said Peters. “Our investments are helping them have a brighter future based on not only the water crisis but trying to move them ahead with the daily issues they face or were already facing.”
The foundation supports 10,000 Flint children and families. Its goal is to continue to have access to money needed to address the long-term health needs of these kids.