While the “boil water” notice has been lifted in most parts of the City of Jackson and the water was declared “safe” last week, many people do not trust it and do not want to use it. There are still reports of a stench coming from the tap water as well as it being a light brown in color. Yesterday, there were reports of water cloudiness from around the city. After the pumps are fixed, we are still left with the issue of lead in the water from the decaying infrastructure. This is going to be an on-going problem.
The MEMA/FEMA water distribution sites have closed but many faith-based organizations are still giving out bottled water for citizens. The VOAD (Volunteers organized for Active Disasters) continues to function in light of this crisis; calls are now once a week rather than every two days to keep all the partners up-to-date on what is being done and to hopefully avoid duplication of efforts.
The Presbytery of Mississippi received a $7,500 PDA grant and has partnered with Freedom Ministries International (FMI) to serve the underserved including the homeless, elderly and disabled persons who have no way to go and pick up donated supplies – water, food, cleaning supplies, paper products. FMI has relationships with these groups of people and knows their legitimate needs. FMI was chosen after on-site visits and interviews with several organizations because of what they are able to do with what they have and their love for the people they serve.
In addition, the Presbytery of Mississippi has received several donations from around the country that will be used to help the underserved. Contributions may be sent to the following address with a notation of “Jackson, MS Water Crisis””
Presbytery of Mississippi
P. O. Box 13451
Jackson, MS 39236