New money for struggling neighborhoods in the Flint area

Another suggested use for the grants, organized usage of trails like this one in Flint's Kearsley Park

At a meeting tonight at the Sarvis Center the Greater Flint Health Coalition, in partnership with the City of Flint announced new "mini-grants" to jump start projects with an outcome of improving "health and safety" in the City of Flint. Community groups can apply for the grants at the group's website or the city's website. Walling says the focus is on the city of Flint, but any group in Genesee County can apply for the grant.

The grants will be handed out in increments of $100 to $1000 and the group along with Mayor Dayne Walling said tonight that they are looking for "creative ideas" but offered some suggestions such as organized walks on the city's trail system, or organizing activities in parks. The "strength in numbers" philosophy helping to improve safety while the exercise improves health. Other ideas include lighting or even developing vacant lots into community gardens. Walling says the group has an open mind.

Community activist Quincy Murphy of the group "Garfield-Bunche" says while it may not seem like even $1000 is much, they can make it go far.

"We can do a couple of community gardens with a thousand," says Murphy, "we can buy some basketballs, we can buy a computer, so it may not go that far but we can still use it."

Murphy and his group are attempting to raise $300 thousand dollars to turn the now closed Bunche elementary school into a community center.

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