By Tom Travis
“This is real, this is serious, people are dying.” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said in an afternoon video conference press conference Monday.
Neeley began by paying homage to his colleague in the Michigan State Legislature, Isaac Robinson, age 44, who died Sunday in Detroit from complications to the coronavirus. Robinson represented the 4th District in the Michigan State Legislature. Robinson’s mother, Rose Mary Robinson, previously served in that position from 2013-2018.
Neeley then thanked the Nestle Company for a recent increase in its donations of water to Flint. Neeley stated water distribution will be done through the faith community of Flint and at these three help centers:
- Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 N. Ballenger Highway, open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Asbury United Methodist Church, 1653 Davison Road, open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Greater Holy Temple, 6702 N. Dort Highway, open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nestle has been providing 100,000 bottles of free water a week for Flint residents since March, 2018, a press release stated. While the increased amount was not detailed, the press release stated the additional water would be designated for home deliveries for those unable to go to one of the existing sites.
Neeley says the National Guard, deployed to Flint over the weekend by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, will help with food distribution only at this point. Neeley reminded the community that the food distributions are for those who can’t get to grocery stores or are unable to pay for groceries. Neeley suggested residents go to The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan website or call 810.239.4441 for more information about food distribution.
Concerning the safety of those distributing water, the Mayor stated each person will go through a training on how to stay safe and a medical screening to make sure they are not contaminated before delivering water.
Neeley reminded residents the City of Flint Community Resource page is available for residents to find information on water distribution, food distribution, meals for children, seniors and all residents, small business help, emergency housing assistance, Internet access, child care for first responders, filing for unemployment, public transportation and family resources.
For this video press conference the media were allowed to type in questions which were read to the mayor by City of Flint Director of Communications, Marjory Raymer. The City’s new Public Health Advisor, Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, was present for the video press conference but did not speak.
EVM Assistant Editor Tom Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.