It seems winter has arrived in Michigan. I hope everyone is staying warm and being safe on the roads. It’s important to remember to stay prepared and keep some items in your car such as blankets, a window scraper, a flashlight, etc. to be safe and prepared for those cold and snowy days. If you find yourself worrying about how you will cover utility costs, please reach out to my office or read below for other resources.
November 11 was Veterans Day, and I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all those who have served and are currently serving for your service, dedication and the sacrifices you have made for our country. It continues to be an honor to serve and represent the brave heroes within our community.
As a reminder, House is in an in-district work period until December. During this time, I am sitting down with folks in the district and touring Genesee area resources and communities. As always, my office is reachable by phone at (517) 373-7515 and by email at JohnCherry@house.mi.gov.
You’re also invited to attend my last community event of 2019, a “Lunch & Learn” I’ll be hosting in conjunction with the Swartz Creek Senior Center on Friday, Dec. 6 from noon to 1 p.m. As always, if you require services from an ASL interpreter during these meetings, please contact my office and we will arrange this service at no cost to you.
Expungement Reform Bill Package Passes the House
The Michigan House of Representatives passed an expungement reform bill package on Nov. 5. It was a very large, comprehensive package that was also an incredible step forward for the state of Michigan. All the bills involved can be found here if you would like to look them over for yourself:
This legislation would help Michiganders who have already been held accountable for their crimes have certain felonies and misdemeanors expunged from their record. It would also allow for the expungement of marijuana offenses that are no longer criminal after the passage of recreational marijuana laws. Allowing people the opportunity to have a second chance and become productive members of our community is extremely important and I am proud to have supported these bills. The Expungement Reform bill package has now moved to the Senate and is awaiting a hearing in the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.
Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission for Fair Elections
Would you like part of the new redistricting commission? In 2018, Michiganders voted to amend the state constitution to have citizens, not politicians, draw election maps. To be considered for this commission you must apply online at RedistrictingMichigan.org. All applications are due June 1, 2020 and if you have any questions about applying or about the Michigan Citizens Redistricting Commission for Fair Elections, you can email Redistricting@Michigan.gov.
There’s no shame in needing a little bit of help. I’ve put together a list of resources that you might find helpful.
The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)
With the weather getting colder, it is important to stay warm and safe. THAW helps low-income individuals and families with heat and electric utilities to stay warm, healthy and safe within their homes. If you need assistance with heat or electricity or if you have any questions, contact THAW.
Phone: (800) 866-THAW(8429)
Free HIV Testing, Needle Exchange and Support Group
Located at 311 E. Court St. in Flint ,Wellness Services offers several services to help prevent the spread of the HIV virus. They offer free HIV testing and targeted counseling, replacement of used syringes with new clean ones, free contraception, and a support group. Open to all Genesee County residents and walk-ins are welcome.
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday 2-6 p.m. (810) 232-0888.
Michigan Opioid Treatment Access Loan Repayment Program (MIOTA)
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is administering the MIOTA, a student loan debt repayment program for providers (MD, DO, NP, PA and SUD Counselors) who are beginning or expanding opioid treatment. To see if you qualify as a provider please check the website here.
The application closes on Nov. 30, 2019
If you have questions call (517) 335-6713
Ennis Center for Children
The Ennis Center has programs in place to help children who are in foster case. The Fostering Creativity program is a free Therapeutic Arts program for those ages 5-21. The MPowering My Success program is a partnership with UofM Flint that assists students in foster care, formerly in foster care, or transitioning out of foster care. Additional Foster Care and Adoption information and services also available.
Need a dental cleaning?
Between September and April, the Mott Community College – Dental Hygiene Clinic offers low-cost dental cleaning services. Appointments must be made in advance, no walk-ins. $25 per cleaning.
1401 E. Court St. in Flint. For more information, visit their website by clicking here.
Programs for K-12 Youth
The Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce offers two programs for K-12 youth. YouthQuest is an afterschool program focused on the development of several areas, including: academics, health and fitness, life skills and character education. TeenQuest is for those 14-19 and currently in grades 9-12. It’s a five week program that gives teens an understanding of skills required by employers, such as communication, taking initiative, and financial literacy. Applications for both programs can be found online. (810) 600-1404
Swartz Creek Community Food Basket
Provides two large bags of groceries once a month, including food and gently used clothing for residents of the Swartz Creek School District.
Walk-ins only, Picture ID required. 7400 Miller Road in Swartz Creek
Tues. 3-6 p.m. and Fri. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Events in HD 49
Tech Tutoring at the Genesee Valley Center Library
These sessions are for first-time computer learners, advanced learners who have questions, or those who need assistance on any technological device. Receive one-on-one assistance from our librarian.
When: Friday, Nov. 22, from 10-11 a.m.
Where: 3293 South Linden Road in Flint
Festival of India
Experience the sights, sounds and flavors of India featuring gift shop items from Deeya’s Boutique & Events, a Henna artist, dishes from the Grill of India and more. Visit their website for more information and a schedule of upcoming events at the Flint Institute of Music.
When: Saturday, Nov. 23, from 4-8:30 p.m.
Where: Flint Institute of Music, 1025 E. Kearsley St. in Flint
Christmas at Crossroads
Visit Crossroads when thousands of lights sparkle like tiny stars throughout the village with live entertainment, model trains, holiday music, costumed villagers making vintage crafts, shops full of great holiday gifts and Santa bringing smiles to faces of all ages. Ride the Huckleberry Railroad for a festive night-time ride. It is highly recommended that you purchase your train ride early as they often sell out in advance. For more information visit geneseeparks.org.
When: Friday, Nov. 29, through Saturday, Nov. 30. Open 4 to 9 p.m.
Where: Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad, 6140 Bray Road in Flint
I hope this information has been useful to you. As always, reach out if there is anything more I can do for you.