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Poverty and pollution: tackling the challenges of Detroit's children


“[T]he stress that we’re talking about on these children, it annihilates them; it handicaps them; it paralyzes them.”

These are the blunt words of Dr. Carl Taylor, Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University, who has seen firsthand the toxic effects of extreme poverty on Detroit kids. He’s just one of the voices sounding a warning about the Motor City’s most vulnerable residents in a remarkable new public radio documentary.

The producers of “Growing Up in Poverty and Pollution” also visit Dr. Elliott Attisha and our Detroit mobile program. Dr. Attisha and his team work with schools in low-income areas. They provide critical care to kids who otherwise wouldn’t get it.

The diseases they battle are exacerbated by poverty, including asthma – which is triggered by vermin, mold and other characteristics of bad housing – and lead poisoning, which is a major problem in Detroit’s crumbling infrastructure.

These problems are huge, and they can’t be solved overnight. But they can be solved.

This year our Detroit program expanded its services by adding a second mobile clinic. We’re proud to be helping more Motor City kids, and we’re thankful to the supporters who make it possible. Together we can help create a better future for Detroit’s children.

Listen to the documentary or read the transcript here.