Over three years have past since the decision to switch the city’s water source from Lake Heron to the Flint River.  Since then, as many as 100 people are reported to have died from suspected Legionnaires' disease and thousands of children have been compromised by lead-in-water poisoning and unexplained illnesses.  Rashes and miscarriages have also been reported by physicians, and the Center for Disease Control.

Even with the application of filters, few parents in Flint believe it is safe to use the water.

As a result, many residents depend on the efforts of voluntary and other groups to help them get by.

The following groups rely on public donations:

The Flint Child Health & Development Fund focuses on the long-term medical and educational needs of children affected by the water crisis.  It uses its donations to make grants to a wide variety of community groups which are working with Flint residents.  Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the local pediatrician who raised alarm bells about lead in the blood of Flint children, has endorsed the fund.

The United Way of Genesee County has set up a fund for the purchase of filters, bottled water, emergency support services and prevention efforts.  The United Way has sourced more than 11,000 filters systems and 5,000 replacement filters,  sources of bottled water to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and also supports a dedicated driver for daily distribution. According to the United Way, 100% of the fund is used for these projects and no administrative fees is assessed.

Catholic Charities of Genesee County is providing help to those in need through its Center for Hope Community Closet and North End Soup Kitchens. Families and individuals in need are able to take home bottled water, as supplies allow.

Flint Rising, a project of The Advocacy Fund, is a coalition of grassroots community organizations “working to ensure that directly impacted people are building the organizing infrastructure and leadership necessary for this long-haul fight for justice and creating the future that Flint families need and deserve.”

Michigan Faith in Action is a Flint-based coalition of local church groups that has canvassed the homes of  thousands of Flint residents to ensure they have the information and resources they need to cope with the water crisis.

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan operate community centers in Flint to help residents affected by the crisis.

The Michigan Alliance for Safe Homes is a grouping of organizations committed to reducing lead in homes in Detroit, Flint and other parts of Michigan.  More than 15,000 children are affected.

The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has been active in supporting legal actions on behalf of Flint residents.



The quality of drinking water, and the persistence of lead-in-water contamination, is also a concern in other parts of the United States:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are no safe levels of lead in children and estimates that at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. The CDC has a variety of toolkits for communities and concerned parents.

NPR station WNYC has prepared this map of lead contaminated water fountain in New York City’s public schools, and provides information for parents. Similar discoveries have been made in other American cities, including Los Angeles.

Lead Safe America is a small non-profit with some resources for parents.

Clean Water Action is a national advocacy group with a useful information on lead in drinking water.