Crossing Water Co-Founder and Director Michael Hood shared an updated on Stateside this afternoon, discussing with Lester Graham how the Flint Water Crisis is far from over.
Recently, Crossing Water Rapid Response Service Teams (RRST) have found the first evidence of Flint families and residents suffering from what can best be termed as "Battle Fatigue" as they continue to live with and through the water crisis with no real relief in sight. We are adding critical interventions to our RRST tool box as we see residents who know and understand how to protect themselves from the effects of lead-tainted water make choices that are in direct contradiction to what they know to be good for themselves and their families. These are caring and engaged families who are exhausted both physically and emotionally from the relentless tasks of ensuring a supply of clean water in their homes. It is a response to the water crisis that we'll like see on the increase as this crisis continues unabated. This is an important development that is high on our radar.
Last Friday was a big day for Crossing Water. We successfully completed our first Residential Water Filter Clinic, training the first batch of new targeted case managers at Genesee Health Systems in Flint. We are so grateful for this opportunity and this collaboration. We hope this is the start of a deep and lasting relationship between two front line agencies in the fight for the health, welfare and safety of all Flint residents and families. It was at least a three starfish day.
Something happens when you get so many people together to help others in their time of need. Saturday was no exception. This past weekend nearly forty people came from all over the Great Lakes basin to help.
They came from Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Fenton, Detroit, and Chicago to help us not only move into our new home but also to deliver services throughout this city, services that vulnerable and underserved residents might not have received otherwise.
Somehow we moved out of the basement of St. Michael's, moved into our very own suite of offices at Salem Lutheran, made water deliveries, did a RRST orientation, set up shop, became fully operational, did 20+ RRST visits, with some critical needs visits, sat down to a wonderful group dinner, and had the most amazing emotion-filled debrief for all our wonderful staff. You folks earned your name "Rapid Response" this day. RRST teamsters on high!
These are days that no matter how hard you work you leave feeling filled up and energized, even in the midst of physical and emotional exhaustion. It's just that kind of work, performed by people who perform quietly heroic acts for those in Flint whose voices have yet to be heard and whose needs have yet to be met.
We consider it an honor to do this work and to do it along side of these passionate and dedicated beings. Days like these become etched in your DNA and help innoculate and protect us from the devastating effects of what we are forced to confront and see while doing this critical work day after day.
The love these people have for the families and residents of Flint, for each other, and for this important work is like nothing we have ever been a part of and we are grateful every day for belonging to this family.
New PSA campaign
We have a new set of public health billboards and messages which will begin next week targeting proper water filter use and ensuring that residents check their filter cartridges frequently. Crossing Water data show that two of the key issues in many homes we've visited show that many residents have run hot water through their filters and others simply do not know when it's time to change out their cartridges. We hope the new PSAs on billboards throughout Flint will help clear some of that up. We are still accepting donations to help offset the significant cost of this critical public health campaign. You can contribute here:
We have also been in negotiations with Genesee Health Systems (GHS) to help train volunteers and staff throughout the city and to design an education training model that will give us a presence and offer consistent health information at all the water distribution sites throughout the city. We are at the beginning of this process and everyone is hopeful that it will bolster the relief response and offer a more in-depth and holistic intervention at these sites and help inoculate residents from further negative impacts from the water crisis. We are very optimistic about this development and hope to have programs up and running very soon. More to come.
Crossing Water Interventions and assessments
We have also been in discussions with GHS to partner with them in doing deeper mental health and social service assessments. This will allow us to strengthen our ability to give referrals quickly giving us a more direct pipeline to interventions by GHS social and mental health services. This is a developing story but one that has potentially significant positive outcomes not just for residents but will also help Crossing Water. This will allow us to share our caseload with GHS and expand our capacity to assess and seek treatment for those residents most in need. We are also looking at developing cross training opportunities between GHS and CW to further this collaboration. This is big news indeed!
Crossing Water co-founders Michael Hood and Laurie Carpenter were chosen as the
recipients of the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-Michigan) 2016 Public Citizen of the Year award! The awards were presented at the national conference of NASW-MI on April 1, 2016.
On March 19, from 10am to 3pm, Smiles Program & Mobile Dentists is offering a FREE dental clinic for Flint children on a FIRST COME-FIRST SERVED basis.
Services offered include dental cleanings, screenings and fluoride treatments.
WHERE: Woodside Church, 1509 E Court St, Flint, MI 48503
El sabado 19 de Marzo, de 10am a 3pm, Programa de Sonrisas y Dentistas Moviles esta ofreciendo una clinica dental GRATIS para ninos de Flint EN ORDEN DE LLEGADA.
Servicios gratuitos incluyen limpiezas dentales, evaluaciones de salud dental y tratamientos de fluororo.
DONDE: La Iglesia Woodside, 1509 E Court St, Flint, MI 48503