FLINT, Michigan — The 2nd Ward Community, in partnership with WOW Outreach, Clio Road McDonald’s, and the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association, hosted the 2nd Ward Community Conversation on May 17.
Held every third Tuesday of the month at Flint’s North Police Mini Station on the corner of Bishop and MLK Blvd, the community-driven event gives 2nd ward residents opportunities to voice their concerns and learn about resources and new developments around businesses and economics, law enforcement, health, and education.
This event is a part of 2nd Ward Councilwoman Dr. Ladel Lewis’ initiative to get 2nd Ward residents engaged, involved, and informed.
May’s conversation was held at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and included a wide variety of residents from 2nd Ward and Sarvis Park. Topics centered around the CASES program (Community Approaches to Strengthening Economic Supports), dealing with blight within the city, support services for residents and children, and handling systemic trauma.
Residents sit engaged at May's 2nd Ward Community Conversations event.
Greater Flint Health Coalition
The Greater Flint Health Coalition’s (GFHC) Outreach Coordinator Doron Pratt was first to speak. Pratt spoke about the Community Approaches to Strengthening Economic Supports or CASES program. CASES “is a program designed to reduce financial stress on Flint and Genesee families” through tax preparation, financial literacy, trauma-informed research, and more. Pratt also spoke about the numerous free tax services and information available to residents, like understanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and childcare tax credits. For more information, contact the GFHC by phone at (810) 232-2228, via email at [email protected]
, or visit their websites: gfhc.org
A representative from Crossover Outreach was on hand to let 2nd ward residents know about the vast array of daily and annual services. Located at 414 W. Court Street in Flint, Crossover Outreach “is a faith based, interdenominational, non-profit agency located in downtown Flint” that “shares the love of Christ by feeding, clothing, and providing services and programs to those in need, restoring hope and rebuilding lives.” Open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., they offer food and personal hygiene items, clothing and cleaning supplies, and household items. Services also include back-to-school giveaways, Thanksgiving and Christmas drives, and a summer camp up north for 40 children. Residents can reach them through their website: crossoveroutreach.org
or by calling (810) 232-2479.
City of Flint Blight Elimination
Blight Management Specialist Haroletta Martin gave residents excellent advice and counsel on what the City of Flint is doing regarding blight elimination in the city. Martin gave details on the multi-million dollar initiative the city is taking to demolish homes, access to dumpsters for neighborhood associations cleanups, tree removal, and more. She also mentioned that positions were open for anyone interested in Blight Removal positions, starting at $15/hour. For more information, residents were encouraged to visit cityofflint.com
. To inquire about dumpster access and other blight elimination topics and resources, the City of Flint Blight Elimination Office can be reached at (810) 237-2090.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences
Finally, Shearese Stapleton talked to residents about The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and dealing with trauma. Stapleton is the CEO and Executive Director of Mothers of Joy University, an “educational institution geared towards the parenting process that builds the whole family.” ACEs are long-term traumatic events such as experiencing or witnessing violence, abuse, mental health problems, and others that happen between 0-17. Stapleton included residents in the discussion by utilizing small ice breaker games and examples to show and understand how ACEs affect not only children and teenagers but also adults.
For more information about The Adverse Childhood Experiences, visit cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/index.html
. To learn more about Mothers of Joy University, visit: mothers-of-joy-university.business.site/
or contact Stapleton at [email protected]
Also, in a surprise visit, Mayor Sheldon Neeley popped into the 2nd Ward Community Conversation to meet and greet residents. The 2nd Ward Community Conversations’ continues its monthly meeting on June 21 from 9 –11 a.m. at Flint’s North Police Mini Station.