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.
Healthy Homes for Healthy Kids
A direct service program where trained Healthy Housing Specialists provide preventive in-home visits for low-income families with children 0-5 years of age or children with asthma. The Healthy Housing Specialists work one-on-one with families to identify and address environmental health hazards. Steps include visual assessment, hands-on education, referral for services, case management, and limited provision of supplies/repairs. Issues include lead poisoning, asthma, accidental injury (trips/falls, burns/scalds, poisoning, suffocation, etc.), and lung cancer.
Qualifications: Live within the Grand Rapids metro area, have a child 0 - 5 years old in the home and/or a child of any age with asthma, and be low-to-moderate income (≤80% of area median income).
Breathe Easier Asthma Program
Modeled after the Healthy Homes for Healthy Kids program, this project targets households with children with poorly managed asthma resulting in repeat emergency department visits or hospital admissions. All interventions are based upon the finding of an initial home assessment. This project includes provision of consumer goods and home repairs to address asthma triggers (carpet removal, fix leaks and control moisture, pest management, ventilation, and more).
Qualifications: Live Kent County and have a child 0 - 5 years old in the home with asthma who has had two emergency department and/or one hospital admission in the past 12 months for asthma.
Fire Safety Program
The Healthy Homes Coalition provides one-on-one in-home education on fire safety coupled with FREE smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector installations.
Qualifications: The family must live in the city of Grand Rapids, Kentwood or Wyoming and have a resident child 14 years of age or younger.
The Healthy Homes Coalition sells do-it-yourself radon kits. Radon is a naturally occurring gas and is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Qualifications: Radon kits are available for $5 each for the public. Kits are provided for free for participants in the Healthy Homes for Healthy Kids program. During Radon Action Month (January), all test kits are free. Test kits are available for pick up at the Healthy Homes office, 1545 Buchanan Ave SW Ste 2, Grand Rapids, MI 49507.
Get the Lead Out!
Healthy Homes Coalition assists families in the application process for the City of Grand Rapids’ lead hazard control program. Families that are approved for the program receive assistance to repair all lead hazards in the home.
Qualifications: The family must reside in the city of Grand Rapids, have a resident child birth through age five, and be low to moderate income (≤80% of area median income). Visit the Get the Lead Out! website for more information on how to apply.
Outreach and Education
The Healthy Homes Coalition connects with community partners to host and participate in local outreach events and teach classes. Classes include parent education, community awareness and training for professionals and are designed by contract. Healthy Homes is a proud partner of the national Healthy Homes Training Center and Network.
Advocacy and Policy Change
The Healthy Homes Coalition partners with like-minded advocates to promote policies that protect children’s health in the home. Healthy Homes advocates at the local, state, and national level. Past successes include numerous state bills, securing a State appropriation for lead hazard control, sustaining and increasing federal funding allocations, and adoption of a single-family rental housing ordinance in the City of Grand Rapids.
Did You Know...
Between 1980 and 1994 the prevalence of asthma increased 75% overall.
The Healthy Homes Coalition is continuing its partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in 2017 to test a new, emerging model for ensuing children have safe water when away from home by testing water in two Grand Rapids child care centers. The partnership with EDF builds upon a 2016 partnership where the organizations tested water for residents impacted by partial lead service line replacements.
When discussing the environmental dangers that could affect a family within the home setting many images come to mind. However, few are aware of one particular danger that is becoming more and more prevalent within our Michigan communities, vapor intrusion. Possible health problems that can be caused by vapor intrusion include negative impacts on cognitive and motor functions, several types of cancer, liver damage, kidney damage, and effects on the immune system.