A Watershed Moment: Healthy Homes


On today’s episode we hear from Paul Haan, Executive Director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, who discusses the mission of this organization: to look out for children’s environmental health, particularly related to health hazards in the home.

The Healthy Homes Coalition operates as a three-fold program, offering home assessments, bringing education to the community, and supporting public policy in favor of healthy environments for children. Many people may not be aware of the dangers their home may possess or how to fix the problems.

The primary way Healthy Homes meets its mission is by working directly with the community through home visits. The primary factors that the non-profit focuses on are factors that may lead to lead poisoning, carbon monoxide, or radon, of which is the second leading cause of cancer. Many homes also contain mold, pests, or toxic pesticides, all of which lead to poor air quality and possibly asthma. After the assessment is completed, Healthy Homes works on an action plan with the family to rid of the hazards. To ensure their message is spread, Healthy Homes works with those who rent or own.

By working with existing community groups and organizations, the non-profit can make a powerful impact, as far as education and public policy. It facilitates the Get the Lead Out! Collaborative, among others in Grand Rapids, and is also a founding member of the Greater Grand Rapids Children’s Environmental Health Initiative.

To listen to this episode, click here.

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