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Additional Resources Announced for Benton Harbor Residents
Michigan Ag Connection - 10/12/2021

Additional free resources for City of Benton Harbor residents, including blood lead testing and home services, were announced today by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to help address sources of lead in their homes and lives, and meet other needs.

These resources are in addition to free bottled water being offered out of an abundance of caution to help ensure the health and safety of City of Benton Harbor residents. Since Sept. 30, 23,763 cases of water have been distributed with additional supplies available throughout the week.

Food and Other Assistance

Benton Harbor families in need of support may be eligible to receive food assistance and other state assistance program benefits like health care coverage, childcare, utility relief and cash assistance. Call 211 for more information, or apply for benefits and explore local resources at http://michigan.gov/MIBridges.

Blood Lead Testing

There is no safe level of lead in the blood. A blood test is the best way to determine if your child has lead in their blood. By taking this test, your child may be eligible for nursing case management services. Blood lead testing is available for children who are:

- Current patients at InterCare Family Health Network, 800 M-139, Benton Harbor, 855-869-6900.

- Enrolled WIC participants at the Berrien County Health Department, 2149 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, 800-815-5485. Visit BCHDMI.org for more information.

Lead Safe Home Program

Benton Harbor residents may be eligible for services to find and remove lead hazards from their homes, including lead-based paint. Residents may be eligible for the following free or low-cost lead services:

- A home lead inspection.

- Testing for lead in drinking water.

- Fixing lead hazards.

To learn more, contact MDHHS at 866-691-5323.

Water Distribution

Residents are being encouraged to use bottled water for cooking, drinking, brushing teeth, rinsing foods and mixing powdered infant formula. Free bottled water is being offered to city residents for consumption. This distribution is part of a longer-term effort to eliminate exceedances of the federal lead standard, educate the community on the effects of lead in drinking water, remove lead service lines and increase confidence in filtered water from the tap.

Distribution is at the following locations and times:

Oct. 12

- Abundant Life Church of God, 693 Columbus Ave., Benton Harbor, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Oct. 13

- Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, 331 Miller St., Benton Harbor, 1-3 p.m.

Oct. 14

- Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, 331 Miller St., Benton Harbor, 4-6 p.m.

Oct. 15

- God's Household of Faith, 275 Pipestone, Benton Harbor, 2-6 p.m.

Additional dates and locations for bottled water pick up will be added to make sure community needs are met. Information will be posted on http://michigan.gov/MiLeadSafe.

For more information, or to speak to someone to arrange water delivery please contact 211 which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents can also call the Berrien County Health Department water hotline at 800-815-5485, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule drop-offs.

For questions about lead, MDHHS can be reached at 866-691-5323 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This action is part of an accelerated, across-the-board effort to reduce the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water while the city replaces all lead service lines. This collaborative effort includes the City of Benton Harbor, the Berrien County Health Department, local community organizations, MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.


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