The City of Flint and the Greater Flint Health Coalition held a Kickoff Meeting to present a Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program in partnership with Commit to Fit! and the Blue Badge Program. The event was attended by over 50 community members representing neighborhood groups, block clubs, local associations, civic groups, non-profit organizations, and other groups.
The Health & Safety Mini-Grant Program is designed to increase community-based safety initiatives that have a positive impact on the health and safety of local residents. In the City of Flint, the violent crime rate is over 400% of the national average and safety remains an issue for many individuals and families. From a health perspective, as residents perceive unsafe environments, they modify their behaviors by avoiding visiting parks, taking walks, and other outdoor activities while blight and poor conditions often increase, contributing to increased stress, anxiety, and low work productivity, significantly impacting personal well-being related to social, economic, and health factors.
The goals of this Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program are to improve safety by activating residents’ ability to work together on efforts to improve the appearance of neighborhood environments, and create safer places for residents to be physically and socially active. These goals will be achieved via mini-grants used to create environmental changes (such as sidewalk improvement or the addition of lighting for night safety), form neighborhood watches and walking clubs, and complete beautification or clean-up activities within neighborhoods, churches, schools, and parks. The program will include a total of 10-20 mini-grants awards of $100 – $1,000 each, going to neighborhood groups, block clubs, civic groups, and non-profit organizations.
Speakers at the event included Dayne Walling, Mayor, City of Flint, Bryant Nolden, City Councilman, 3rd Ward, Tanya Meeks, Flint Police Officer and Blue Badge Program Coordinator, and Kirk Smith, President & CEO of the Greater Flint Health Coalition.
“Recognizing violence and crime as major issues impacting local residents, we want to offer this program to empower neighborhood groups to address safety through community-based efforts,” said Kirk Smith, President & CEO of the Greater Flint Health Coalition, adding that “by improving safety, there will also be positive impacts on the health of residents.” Dayne Walling, Mayor, City of Flint stated that “the City of Flint is committed to improving the safety and well-being of residents in creative ways, and this program will serve to improve safety while also informing our Master Plan development process in strategies to address safety in the long-term.”
Applications will be due no later than Friday, July 27, 2012 and funds will be awarded to grantees in August, 2012. All funding is provided through the Greater Flint HealthCoalition. To obtain an application for the Health and Safety Mini-Grant Program, please click on one of the links below: