The Healthy Homes Coalition is a new non-profit that is seeking to eliminate housing conditions in west Michigan that harm children's health. The Coalition is an outgrowth of the successful Get the Lead Out! campaign, and was incorporated in the summer of 2006 to sustain the effort to end childhood lead poisoning in Grand Rapids and to apply lessons learned in lead to other children's environmental health issues.
Our work has its roots in the inception of the Get the Lead Out! collaborative, which was formed in 2001 in response to local data that called out the environmental injustice of childhood lead poisoning in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2000, 559 Kent County children 0-5 years of age were identified with elevated blood lead levels. More than 90% of those children lived in the City of Grand Rapids. More than 90% were low-income (Medicaid). And the vast majority were children of color. A map similar to the one on this page showed the huge disparity. In the north end of the Baxter neighborhood, two out of every five children tested that year had elevated blood lead levels!
The Get the Lead Out! collaborative was facilitated as a pilot project of the Community Leadership Institute at Aquinas College. As the pilot phase came to an end in 2005, collaboration leaders met to plan for the future. Even though the incidence of childhood lead poisoning in Grand Rapids' neighborhoods was cut by 60%, the group decided that the work to end childhood lead poisoning needed to continue, and that we needed to take lessons learned from the successful Get the Lead Out! campaign and apply them to other children's environmental health issues.
To sustain these efforts, the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan was incorporated as a non-profit organization with the State of Michigan in August 2006, the same year that the Get the Lead Out! campaign was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a Children's Environmental Health Excellence Award. Shortly thereafter the organization secured its tax-exempt status with the IRS.
Today, Healthy Homes focuses on childhood lead poisoning, carbon monoxide and radon. We are building a strong, solid foundation to eliminate these threats and continue to build our comprehensive approach to ensuring that children's homes are healthy and free from environmental harm.
Consider joining us and being a part of our future!
Making sure children grow up in homes that are healthy and safe is everyone’s job! The Healthy Homes Coalition is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Learn more about specific ways you can help protect children. Connect with us today!