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People in Flint still don't really know who to call for help

Sign in Flint, Michigan.
Michigan Municipal League

The state's holding focus groups in Flint, trying to figure out whether people are getting the information they need about the water crisis.

And so far, the answer is pretty clear: they’re not.

Harvey Hollins is running the state's response efforts in Flint. And he says the first focus group (which was held this week) was pretty unsettling.  

He says people suggested the state create a help line to call with questions about the water and where to get filters – even though 211 has already been offering that kind of information.

“It was a shock to have that revealed to us,” Hollins says. “And the entire group kind of agreed: yeah, we don't know who to call.

"Same thing on nutrition: they just didn't have information on what to eat [to help fight the effects of lead,]” Hollins says.

Hollins wants the state to put up more billboards in the Flint area, and hire community liaisons in each of Flint’s wards to help with word-of-mouth information.

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.
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