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Why 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.

Ridgway White headshot.

Ridgway White


Focus on Flint is one of many ways the Mott Foundation gathers input from the community about priorities for Flint. We will continue to listen and to ask for your input and feedback.

You can share your thoughts at any time by emailing us at or calling 810-237-4888.


The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is a private, charitable organization that makes grants to help communities around the world. Because Flint is our hometown, we care deeply about what happens here and the well-being of residents. In 2023, the Foundation granted more than $80 million — over half of our total grantmaking for the year — to nonprofits and other organizations doing good work in support of the Flint community.

However, we always want to know if what we and other organizations are doing in the community is adding up to positive change you can feel in your day-to-day life. The Focus on Flint project, which was launched in 2019, gives us a way to track that over time. It also gives us another opportunity to hear about your priorities and share what we learn. What do you think are the most urgent concerns facing our community? What can we celebrate?

While Flint faces challenges similar to other aging industrial cities across the country, we believe it’s important to continue to focus on residents’ specific needs and tailor solutions accordingly. As part of this effort, we’ve supported annual surveys about key issues and top concerns. We’ve also gathered community data published by credible sources.

It’s been five years since we published the first Focus on Flint report, and though we’ve shared updates online, we thought it was time to publish a second report. In it, you’ll learn how residents’ feelings about key issues have — or have not — changed over the years. You’ll also find a deeper look at education, something residents continue to report is a priority.

You’ll learn how information from the surveys, combined with what residents told us during community conversations and through online voting, has helped to shape our local grantmaking. That includes support for neighborhood projects you told us were important to you.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, many residents found themselves needing extra help for the first time and looking to the community to find it. That’s why this report also includes a list of resources in the Flint area that can help you, your loved ones, neighbors and colleagues.

Flint’s story is one of challenges and triumphs. This publication doesn’t tell us everything about our community, but I hope it will continue to spark conversations about how — together — we can Focus on Flint and keep making progress toward a great quality of life for all residents.

Ridgway White, President and CEO
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

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