The Get the Lead Out! program was recently simplified, making participation free for eligible homeowners. The program is available to renters, homeowners and landlords who meet certain eligibility requirements. Repairs typically include new windows and siding.
People who live in the City of Grand Rapids – particularly those who live in homes built before 1978 – probably have lead in the paint inside and outsidetheir homes. Lead is bad – especially for kids, babies and pregnant women. It causes brain damage and learning disabilities.
As the lead poisoning of children in Grand Rapids’ neighborhoods continues increase, and gain attention, one local business took the message to their customers - and raised $6,000 in doing so.
As part of their holiday season "round-up" campaign, all three Grand Rapids area locations of Rylee's Ace Hardware stores educated their customers about the dangers of lead poisoning in children while asking them to "round-up" their purchase to the next dollar. The funds raised will help support the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, whose work continues to spotlight the growing health concerns and dangers of this issue.
New health data shows that after a decade of decline, the number of lead-poisoned children in Kent County is rising.
Most troubling: The 49507 zip code in Grand Rapids not only continues to lead the state of Michigan in numbers of most lead-poisoned kids, but this same zip code has seen a 40 percent increase in children being poisoned during the past two years.
The culprit isn't in the water - it's lead-based paint found in older homes.
City of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss has issued a Mayoral Proclamation declaring June 2017 as “Healthy Homes Month.” Nationally, June also has been designated “Healthy Homes Month” by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“When the City and its partners invest in housing, there is a significant return on investment for the community in terms of healthcare savings and improved quality of life. Fixing housing saves money and it saves lives,” says Paul Haan, executive director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan and gubernatorial appointee to the State of Michigan’s Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission.
People wearing bright red t-shirts are canvasing some of the neighborhoods and festivals in Grand Rapids starting this June – but they’re not stumping for a political candidate: They’re hoping that homes in the city will Get the Lead Out! Armed with free lead-testing kits and brochures, these team members from the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan are letting people know about federal funds available to make lead abatement possible.
Governor Snyder appointed Paul Haan, Executive Director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, to the newly formed Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission created by Executive Order today. The Commission will advance the work completed by a temporary board appointed in 2016. Haan and Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss served on the former board that issued a set of recommendations in November 2016.
West Michigan residents are at increased risked of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning during power outages when generators are used in an unsafe manner. According to a 2015 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) report, nearly one in five of CO exposures in the state can be traced back to unsafe generator usage, often linked to severe weather events. The Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan is alerting residents who have lost power to take precaution if they choose to use a generator as a supplemental source of electricity. (Release includes safety tips for using generators).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced an award of $51,451 September 9, 2016 to the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan to make 400 homes safer for children. The award will allow the Healthy Homes Coalition to teach fire safety and install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in 400 homes.
Grand Rapids, Flint, Detroit, and Jackson County saw an increased incidence of lead poisoned children in the second quarter of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015 (April – June) according to data recently released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan and local partners suspect that some of the increase may be an unfortunate but avoidable side effect of increased reinvestment in Grand Rapids’ older neighborhoods.
Governor Snyder appointed Paul Haan, Executive Director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, and Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss to the newly formed Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board created by Executive Order on June 10, 2016.
When: November 6 & 7 - 8:30am-5:00pm Where: Home Repair Servies
1100 S. Division
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Cost: Free with optional lunch
The 2-day training will help you understand the connection between health and housing and how to take a holistic approach to identify and resolve problems that threaten the health and well-being of residents.
What the Eyes Don't See is the title of Flint heroine Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s book about the Flint water crisis. It’s an appropriate title for a book where behind the scenes dealing resulted in thousands of children ingesting lead through their drinking water. However, it's also an accurate statement when it comes to children being poisoned by lead in communities like Grand Rapids that have long had safe drinking water.
We need to be able to see lead. The technology to measure lead in the environment has existed for decades. This technology needs to be used to stop kids from hurting. Learn five specific ways to make invisible lead hazards visible.
Did you know that the Healthy Homes Coalition is the number one source of referrals for the Get the Lead Out! home repair program? It’s no surprise given the expert work of Jackie Hernandez, our Community Connections Coordinator.
Executive Director Paul Haan will tell you it is Jackie Hernandez, our Community Connections Coordinator, is making it happen. “Jackie is unapologetic in her passion for helping kids and families succeed. Whether it’s her role as a Godfrey Lee school board member or her work at Healthy Homes, Jackie is 100% prepared to take action for her community!”
Parents, a Healthy Homes Coalition board member, and staff were all featured on a Michigan Radio news story. We are sharing it here in case you missed it.
In the words of one of Healthy Homes’ newest board members, grandparent Lisa Matthews, "“People think (lead) is a small problem, but it’s a very big problem. I know it takes time to do something about it … I’m just sayin’ what are we going to do now?”
Healthy Homes is eager to begin working with the City and community partners to implement the solutions recommended in this report.