For Media


Paul Haan
Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan
(616) 241-3300 x301
(616) 734-9443 - 24 Hour Contact Number


Press Releases


January 10, 2018 - Local Hardware Stores Raise Awareness, Money to Fight Lead Poisoning in GR Neighborhoods
$6,000 Collected from Customers Via “Round-up” Campaign

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.


November 6, 2017 - Lead Poisoning on the Rise in Kent County

Press kit available here.

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. 

Resources are available to help residents Get the Lead Out.


June 16, 2017 - Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss proclaims June “Healthy Homes Month” in Grand Rapids  
(Click here for copy of the Proclamation)

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. 


June 7, 2017 – City of Grand Rapids and Other Community Partners Aim to Make 50 Homes Lead-Safe This Summer

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. 


March 16, 2017 - Governor Appoints Local Advocate to Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission

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.


March 9, 2017 - ALERT - Power Outages Increase Risk for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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).


September 9, 2016 - Release - FEMA Awards Healthy Homes Coalition $51,451 for Fire Safety Program

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.


August 16, 2016 - Release - Four Michigan Communities Including Grand Rapids See Increasing Numbers of Lead Poisoned Children. Local increase may be linked to increased renovation and tight rental market.

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.


June 10, 2016 - Release - Governor Appoints Healthy Homes Coalition Executive Director to Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board

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.


March 10, 2016 - Release- Town Hall Meeting on Lead Poisoning in Grand Rapids

Details on an event to be held at 6:30pm Thursday, March 10 at LINC Gallery, 341 Hall SE


March 8, 2016 - Media Advsiory - Town Hall Meeting on Lead Poisoning in Grand Rapids

Announcing event to be held at 6:30pm Thursday, March 10 at LINC Gallery, 341 Hall SE


February 12, 2015 - Carbon Monoxide Kills: More Than Half of Carbon Monoxide Poisonings Occur During the Winter Months (828 KB)

Media alert on carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter months.


September 15, 2014 - Get the Lead Out! Press Kit

Get the Lead Out! - now in 10th year - announces deadline for applications to make GR homes lead safe.

To be considered for the funding, applications should be received by Dec. 1

Press kit contains: press release, fact sheet, media sources, images, b-roll, additional reports and resources.

Past Releases


Summer 2014 Newsletter

More publications


More videos


In the News

October 2014 - Lead poisoning prevention as economic development (The Rapidian)

September 2014  - Getting the word out about Get the Lead Out (Michigan Radio)

Credit Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio


More news stories


Training Opportunity: Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioners

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. 

Register Online Here! 







Lead Safe Painting and Home Repair Class

Planning on making repairs to your pre-1978 home now or in the future? You are invited to a FREE class to learn how to keep your children safe while making repairs to your home.  




Wednesday, October 29th from 1:00pm-2:30pm
Monday, November 24th from 2:00pm-3:30pm

Where: Home Repair Services, 1100 South Division, Grand Rapids

Call (616) 241-3300 to register.

Did You Know...

More than ten million school days are missed each year due to asthma.

Social Media

Lifting Parent Voices, The COFI Way

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.


Why Parent Voices Matter More

Two stories featuring parents who are fighting to end childhood lead poisoned were told in local news this past week.

These two stories represent the voices of parents whose children are directly affected by the threat of lead poisoning in the community. They are just two of thousands more in the city.

Asthma: The Overlooked Housing Hazard

While efforts to fix lead paint hazards in Grand Rapids are currently in process and in the news, it’s important to remember that asthma is another major health concern for children in the city.

(Photo Credit: