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.

Keyon Lovett: Fighting Lead with Paint

Keyon Lovett didn’t mean to become a social activist. He just wanted to be an artist. Lovett’s work, currently displayed in our offices, connects the issues of the ongoing Flint water crisis, and the struggles lead affected families are dealing with in Grand Rapids.

Mayor Bliss Commits to Tackling Lead Aggressively

In her State of the City address on Thursday night, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss made it clear that fixing lead poisoning is a major priority for Grand Rapids.

"The recent increase in lead poisoning is a call to action," said Mayor Bliss. 

"Children should not only feel safe in our city. They must be safe. Especially in their own homes."

Persistence Pays Off for Healthy Homes, Kids

Momentum continues to build fast to solve the problem of children being exposed to lead in Grand Rapids – and to keep kids from hurting in our community. The culmination of two years of work is lining up across the city, county, and state – a change which will help families provide safe housing for their children.

Healthy Homes is leading the charge.

So the Big Question is...

Nyi’Cear is a local seven year old girl. She loves to play and she smiles easily, like most seven year olds do. But, her journey is far from typical. She is a victim of lead poisoning. The following video depicts her long-term struggles following that initial diagnosis.

"So the big question is: what are we doing about this? What, as a community, are we doing about lead poisoning?"

Rylee's Ace Hardware Raises Awareness, Money to Fight Lead Poisoning

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.

Lead Poisoning on the Rise in Kent County

The 49507 zip code experienced a 40 percent increase in number of lead-poisoned children from 2014 through 2016. The zip code has most lead-poisoned kids in the state of Michigan.

Parents, representatives met on Oct. 30 in Grand Rapids to tackle the lead-paint problem that’s poisoned more children than Flint’s water crisis.

"I was angry at myself for not protecting my child."

“I was angry at myself for not protecting my child.”

This would seem a natural reaction for any parent.  We are all focused on protecting our children and making sure they are strong and healthy.

However, the lead in the paint that made her daughter Lucy sick was not her fault. Yet Kristin was angry at both herself and her husband. 

Then anxiety set in and she took action. She went into “Mama Bear” mode.

FREE Lead Testing Kits

Are you worried that you might have lead in your home? We can give you the tools you need to know for sure.

You are at risk if you have a child two years of age or younger, are pregnant, or are planning a pregnancy AND you live in a home built before 1978. Be a champion for your child and get your free lead testing kit by clicking here.

Safe Water for Grand Rapids' Children

To ensure the safety of Grand Rapids' children, the Healthy Homes Coalition began testing the water at the Baxter Child Development Center on Wednesday, July 19. The water testing, which will identify any lead hazards in the drinking water, is part of a larger project the Healthy Homes Coalition is conducting in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Along with protecting children, the project also has the goal of developing a commonsense protocol for water testing in child care facilities across the nation.