Environmental Health Watch

5802 Detroit Avenue, Suite 1U Cleveland, OH 44102

With funding from the Health Impact Project, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, NCHH awarded 15 $5,000 Lead Poisoning Awareness Community Mini-Grants in 2017. These grants were for community events focused on raising awareness, engaging community leaders in advocacy, or motivating policy change around lead poisoning prevention.

As a mini-grantee, EHW developed and hosted a community event with Glenville resident input and guidance. As a Glenville (a suburb of Cleveland) has some of the highest lead poisoning rates in the nation (2015 data shows 23.5% children tested have blood lead levels > 5 micrograms/dL).

Community residents posted flyers (attached) in the neighborhood, knocked on doors, and spread the word via other community events; e.g., local block parties. The event was also advertised by robocalls going out to community members via Famicos (a not-for-profit affordable housing developer in Cleveland). Posts were also put on Facebook and the Neighborhood Connections website. The event was advertised as a fun community event with music, free food, and a raffle, and including personal stories of lead poisoning from residents, a presentation about lead and safe lead dust clean up in the home. A survey was conducted after the lead presentation. Participants had to complete the survey to get raffle tickets for HEPA vacuums.

There were also resources such as Legal Aid Society of Cleveland representatives at the event to answer any questions about tenants/landlord/homeowners responsibilities and rights around lead. The Cleveland Department of Public Health had a mobile lead testing van at the event for free lead testing for children. The music was provided by Refresh Collective, a grassroots youth outreach organization in Glenville using art (including hip hop) as a way to connect with the youth of Glenville. Refresh Collective has grown to a youth development program, educating young people about community issues such as lead poisoning.
Impact of the funded activities included:
• 50 residents attended the event
• 6 community meetings held prior to the event
• 17 community lead champions identified at the meetings and event
• 35 people trained on lead hazards and lead safe dust cleaning
• 100 cleaning kits distributed

Going forward, EHW has remained engaged with community leaders and, through the event, solidified a new partnership with a group working on lead screening within the school district.

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