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.
Every second Monday of the month at 5pm, the conference room at the Healthy Homes Coalition fills up with parents. They file in, greet each other warmly and find their usual seats.
Over a quick dinner, weekly stories are swapped and pictures are shared as parents catch up. Parents for Healthy Homes meetings are part support group, part advocacy work, part leadership training class, and all parent connection.
The leadership training component is a result of our relationship with Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), a nonprofit organization based out of Chicago which connects parents to one another, helping turn their voices in actionable change. COFI was created in 1995, with former community organizer Barack Obama as a founding member.