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Focus on Flint


Nine hundred residents shared their views through telephone and online opinion surveys conducted in the first half of 2019. Key findings are summarized, including ratings for different aspects of life in Flint. Ratings are based on a scale of one to five, in which five means “very positive” and one means “very negative.” For more information about how the ratings were calculated, see Methodology.


This section highlights survey results regarding what’s working and what needs improvement. If a section of Focus on Flint does not include information about Things to Celebrate or Things to Improve, it’s because the survey didn’t yield responses to fit the categories.


In addition to results of the opinion survey, Focus on Flint shares information that local nonprofit organizations and agencies have reported hearing from the residents they serve.


Support for the organizations and programs presented in bold text includes funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which produced this report. To learn more, visit the Foundation’s website,


Each section includes data and statistics that illuminate strengths of the Flint community and highlight challenges. These facts were collected through opinion surveys of Flint residents; from city, state and federal agencies; and from local nonprofit organizations. The Flint surveys were conducted in the first half of 2019. Unless otherwise noted, all remaining data are from 2018.


This section highlights organizations and programs working to address issues in the Flint community and provides information about how to connect with them.


Focus on Flint explores nine important issues facing the local community: Arts and Culture, Economy, Education, Health, Housing, Public Safety, Quality of Life, Standard of Living and Water. This section describes why each issue is critical to the community and summarizes work underway.

Why Focus on Flint?

For more than 90 years, the Mott Foundation has had a focus on Flint. Through good times and bad, we’ve tried to help our hometown deal with challenges and create opportunities. And though we’ve granted more than $1 billion locally, we know that, too often, struggles still thwart success, and pessimism competes with promise.

National media attention generated by the water crisis has, for the most part, painted a very negative picture of Flint. Yet we hear so many community leaders and other residents saying, “That’s not the whole story of Flint. That’s only part of the picture.”

So what is the bigger picture of Flint? What can we celebrate? What needs improvement? What’s happening to help make the bad things better? Who’s doing that work?

Focus on Flint explores these issues.

Throughout this site, you’ll see data that tell a story about how we’re doing as a community. You likely won’t be surprised that some of the statistics are frustrating. But you may be surprised to learn about points of progress and exciting efforts underway to address specific challenges.

This is by no means a comprehensive look at everything that can or should be measured. Rather, it’s a springboard for a community conversation, input and action.

As Flint continues to recover and rise from the water crisis, it seems we’re at a point where we should take a big-picture look at where we stand — and set our sights on where we want to be.

The Mott Foundation has sent Focus on Flint to every household, business and organization in the city. In the months ahead, we’ll also invite all interested members of the community to participate in conversations about these measures of quality of life and local efforts to improve them for everyone.

The conversations will help all of us understand the strengths and challenges identified by our community — and, with everyone’s input, contribute to solutions and pathways to a promising future. Sign up for an upcoming conversation.

We hope you’ll add your thoughts and ideas as we all focus on Flint.

Ridgway White, President and CEO
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 

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