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Community Baby Shower

The City of Flint’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control program partnered with community-based organization “Whew, Mama!” to conduct door-to-door outreach to residents on the importance of lead service line replacement. This partnership was designed to help Flint address 1,000 declinations within their Get the Lead Out program

With help from the Flint’s Public Health Navigators, staff divided the 1,000 addresses into “areas of investigation.”  The first step was to remove addresses of homes built after 1986 because that year federal legislation prohibited the use of lead in water service lines, leaving 583 addresses. Ten percent of these accounts were inactive; another 10% of pipes were verified as previously replaced with copper pipes. Thirty-five percent of addresses were reached via door to door outreach. Of these:

  • 2% were already enrolled
  • 48% were referred to the Get the Lead Out program
  • 50% refused

Among those who provided a reason for refusing, most cited they believed the house did not have a lead line or that they didn’t want to have their lawn torn up. 

To better engage the more than 250 households not yet enrolled in the city’s LSLR program, “Whew, Mama!” and Flint held three community events. We fondly call the first the “Bag Lady” event, where learning centers, local hospitals, insurance providers, and more stuffed give-away bags with goodies for women and children. Three hundred people attended, and we enrolled 20 residents for home lead service replacement and shared information with all attendees.

Second, Flint staff tabled inside Flint’s city hall lobby in front of the water department where we talked with 50 people in the three hours and enrolled 10 residents in LSLR. Employee Christine Dye learned her home still had lead lines. Christine said,“If it was not for this outreach team my home would still have lead lines and my 5-year-old daughter would still be bathing in this toxic water.” Christina was enrolled that day in the city’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program to remove the lead paint from other areas of her residence. 

Lastly, the big event! Our community baby shower gathered 500 people! During the shower we shared information with residents about lead line replacement and resources to help get the lead paint out of their residences.  We enrolled 25 people in the program, bringing our new enrollment total up to 170 households. 

Surprisingly “Whew, Mama’s!” CEO Mrs. Danicka Sims was one of the addresses on our declination list. 

I would like to thank the City of Flint and Healthy Babies Bright Futures for trusting and believing in me to reach and connect with the residents of Flint, MI. Partnering with the City of Flint not only helped residents with pipe replacements, but it helped me as well. I’ve been in my home for over four years, and I just learned that my home has lead pipes that need to be replaced. I stand behind the Get the Lead Out program and the City of Flint with the work they are putting in to help rebuild the city. Thanks to this partnership I was able to purchase over $2,000 in incentives, to help compensate residents in need of pipe replacement. I was also able to host two community events which brought out hundreds of individuals to help educate and provide resources and necessities to overcome such a hazardous toxin. I am so thankful for this opportunity again and can’t wait to work with the City of Flint again, said “Whew, Mama’s!” CEO Mrs. Danicka Sims.

Our contractor's crews are still working to get all lead line pipes replaced. This outreach and seeing familiar faces significantly helped residents have more trust in the process to have their lead service lines replaced.

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