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Thousands in grants dispersed for launch of Flint Senior Lives Matter program

A new program called Flint Senior Lives Matter has just been announced. (Photo Credit: Joel Feick)

Although federal dollars for pipe replacement have been approved, other aspects of the water crisis are still having a big impact on Flint's seniors.

So a new program has just been announced, called Flint Senior Lives Matter.

Officials from the Valley Area Agency on Aging say they just received two new grants to help Flint seniors.

One is from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund for $500,000.

The other is from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for $200,000.

Both will help seniors with things like blood and water testing, access to a dietitian, nutrition and other health problems that flint seniors are complaining about because of the water crisis.

"They didn't use the word stressed, but they were concerned why many of them were losing their hair and teeth. They were losing their teeth," said Kathryn Boles, President and CEO of Valley Area Agency on Aging.

90 year old Julia Johnson says that she showers with Flint water but she doesn’t cook with it.

“I just don’t know if it’s pure,” she said.

The program will focus on homebound seniors in Flint.

There are other water crisis challenges seniors face.

A resident who spoke at the meeting said, "the lack of flouride that we're not getting in the water and the bottled water that we're drinking is causing cavities"

Senator Jim Ananich, (D) Flint says "at the state level their buying bulk cheap as much as they can, but it would be better if we had some sort of flouride."

It's estimated less than 45 percent of Flint seniors have access to the internet.

So this new program will help them with information in other ways, like TV and newspapers.

Tommy Gist of Flint says "all old cities with these pipes have the same problem. Flint isn't the only place with this problem".

The VAAA will be sending out workers into the community over the next two years.

And there is more good financial news for area residents.

On Monday, new details will be released that will funnel millions of dollars into Genesee county's Head Start program.

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