The City of Flint has teamed up with some local organizations 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 has partnered with the United Way for this program, and together, they have 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. The City of Flint will also include the option to donate tax refunds to this fund on its Income Tax form.

The "Keep the Water Flowing" program will be targeted toward 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 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.

Speaking about ways to give, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling advocated the simplicity of donating through a tax return. " 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." The United Way of Genesee County will also lost the fund, along with the other charities , in its workplace donations packet.

For more information, or questions about other ways to contribute to the "Keep the Water Flowing" program, contact the United Way of Genesee County at (810) 232-8121.