Little boy
David Dennis / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The water crisis in Flint is ongoing. And it's been a while since we've talked about it here at State of Opportunity, so let's catch up.

In January, President Barack Obama issued an emergency declaration for Genesee County in response to conditions in the city.

Residents have been given water, water filters, and testing kits. Federal aid has been provided to supplement state and local efforts.

Flint pediatrician: Out of water crisis, opportunity

Dec 14, 2015
Sharyn Morrow / Flickr Creative Commons

  Last week I wrote about concerns facing kids living in the city of Flint. The biggest concern as of late revolves around negative health impacts due to the water crisis. The fear is that the behavioral and health consequences will put already disadvantaged children in an even tougher position to get ahead.

Do kids living in Flint stand a chance?

Dec 4, 2015
Steven Chrypinski / Michigan Radio

This week I saw two very different sides of the city of Flint.

On Tuesday, Genesee County community members gathered for a Michigan Radio sponsored community forum event to talk about the Flint water crisis. Most of them were concerned, angry, or a combination of the two.

Jeff Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

This post has been updated.

Haskell Center

The Haskell Youth Center is on the front lines of violence prevention in Flint. They don’t use a complicated formula; there are just plenty of positive activities and positive adults.

On any given day there are about 200 kids spread throughout the game room, the cafeteria, and a gym where the basketball games never seem to stop. 

Haskell is a refuge of sorts. Violent crime is pervasive in this city, with almost 800 such crimes reported since the beginning of the year. That’s pretty extreme. But just as true outside of Flint is the effect violence can have on young people.

"It feels like a storm that's always around – that won't go away," says 18-year-old Rico Colfer. He's been coming to Haskell since he was nine years old. He now works at the center when he's not in school, studying for what he hopes will be a career in graphic design. 

Colfer says his house has been broken into three times. He says the stress takes a toll on him and on those around him. "Every time it happens it hurts me because I see my mom cry," he says. "She works hard to get us the best stuff to have, and they just come and take it."

courtesy of the Local 432

Flint is a much maligned city. While there is plenty of good happening in the city it does have challenges that go far beyond an image problem.