Richard Wooten and his organization Gathering Point community council answered the bell in late March during the Flint, Michigan State of Emergency Water Crisis.
Gathering Point was responsible for delivering about 75+ cases of water to Flint, Michigan when high amounts of lead was detected in their water irrigation system.
The problem was two year build up and occurred when the city of Flint decided to change water suppliers in the summer of 2014, leaving the city Detroit sewage and water processing plant to pick up a new plant called DAC with the interest of saving the city money in the long run.
With the new supplier hired, they created a new pipeline to be distributed to the city of Flint.
In about mid 2015, residents started to complain about discoloration in water and harmful rash breakouts. The EPA then started to investigate and made suggestions of what should be done to prevent their water from becoming more lethal, but their recommendations were aggressively dismissed by top Flint government officials.
There continued to be more reports of water discoloration, rash breakouts and even deaths which soon garnered national media attention and then on on January 5th 2016 the state declared a city emergency for Flint, Michigan for their water supply being highly toxic.
Flint’s leadership was warned at many times during the EPA’s investigation that the water was very unsafe for citizens and a total of 9 people died due to poisoning.
The mayor of Flint wrote President Obama to declare this a national emergency in order to receive aid from the nation. Once declared in mid January, the nation rallied to deliver water to Flint. Included in aiding that effort was Gathering Point.
We rallied the community together of Gresham and Grand Crossing to get people donate water to our cause and sent 75+ cases of water to Flint in late February. It was great to have the community so involved and rallied together to aid people of Michigan with drinkable water.