Catholic Agency on Front Lines Helping Flint Residents with Water Crisis

Catholic Agency on Front Lines Helping Flint Residents with Water Crisis

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Vicky Schultz, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genessee counties in Flint, Mich., displays some of the bottled water Jan. 19 that has been donated to help Flint residents whose water has been contaminated with lead. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he has failed Flint residents but pledged to take new steps to fix the city's drinking water crisis, starting with committing millions in state funding. (CNS photo/Jim West)
Vicky Schultz, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genessee counties in Flint, Mich., displays some of the bottled water Jan. 19 that has been donated to help Flint residents whose water has been contaminated with lead. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he has failed Flint residents but pledged to take new steps to fix the city's drinking water crisis, starting with committing millions in state funding. (CNS photo/Jim West)
Vicky Schultz, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genessee counties in Flint, Mich., displays some of the bottled water Jan. 19 that has been donated to help Flint residents whose water has been contaminated with lead. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he has failed Flint residents but pledged to take new steps to fix the city’s drinking water crisis, starting with committing millions in state funding. (CNS photo/Jim West)

FLINT, Mich. (CNS) — Following the discovery of lead in the city of Flint’s drinking water, relief organizations have been working day and night to provide safe water to those living and working in the community. Standing at the front of the battle is Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties in the Lansing Diocese. The agency that provides assistance to people in need, including counseling, substance abuse treatment, foster care and adoption services. Vicky Shultz, CEO of Catholic Charities, said the health and safety issues continue to be a “major crisis,” and the organization is distributing bottled water and gallons of water, as supplies allow, to families and individuals in need. Community members across the diocese are urged to provide aid in the form of donating cases or gallons of water, water filter kits and replacement filters, or monetary donations. “(Water) is a basic need we have as human beings,” said Schultz. “We’re already dealing with poverty (and) huge unemployment in the city of Flint, and now we have water that’s not suitable to drink. The first population (affected) we know is babies. So when people come to our Community Closet asking for diapers … we’re making sure that everyone who leaves who has a child has the gallon jugs of water,” she said. Lansing Bishop Earl A. Boyea said the city of Flint “has undergone many trials in recent years.”