NEWS RELEASE   1/31/2014

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Flint, Michigan – January 31, 2014 – The City of Flint has partnered with the United Way of Genesee County to create an assistance program for residents who are having trouble paying their water bills. The new program is called “Keep the Water Flowing”. The City and the United Way engaged the Salvation Army of Genesee County and Catholic Charities of Shiawassee & Genesee County to administer the program.

The United Way has begun raising funds to kick-start the program and will continue to do so through its Campaign. The City of Flint will also include the option to donate tax refunds to this fund on its Income Tax Return form.
The “Keep the Water Flowing” program will be targeted towards individuals with first time water shut-off notices.

Through the program, residents who meet certain Department of Human Services criteria are helped by Salvation Army social workers who identify their specific needs. The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities provide assistance in beginning a financial eligibility process for each prospective recipient to determine if and how much assistance is warranted.

If approved, the individual is notified and given information as to the amount of assistance; if not approved, individuals are given an explanation as to why their request was denied.

In order to raise money for the “Keep the Water Flowing” fund, both the City of Flint and the United Way of Genesee County will have contribution options in place for area residents. The United Way of Genesee County will list the fund along with other charities in its workplace donations packet as well as its other contribution methods.

In addition to normal contribution channels, the City of Flint will include an area on its Income Tax Return where taxpayers can elect to have some or all of their tax return donated to the fund. Mayor Dayne Walling advocated the simplicity and convenience of donating to the program. “This is an easy way to help out your fellow residents when filing your income tax return or when making your yearly charitable contribution at work,” said Mayor Walling.

“Having this option available will hopefully encourage people to provide any help they can to those who have the greatest need.”
For questions about other ways to contribute to the “Keep the Water Flowing” program, please call the United Way of Genesee County at 810-232-8121. Anyone wishing to donate any portion of their tax refund when filing can do so on line 28a (Flint Indigent Water Fund) of their 2013 Income Tax Return.

The “Keep the Water Flowing” program was conceived as a compliment to other efforts by the City of Flint like the poverty exemption, renter’s deposit assistance and payment plan options to help those in need with their water bills.
“Keep the Water Flowing” is also funded by Tummala Charitable Foundation, Nartel Family Foundation, Landaal Packaging, United Way of Genesee County, and the Salvation Army of Genesee County.

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