Flint resident: Problems go beyond quality of water

Courtney Walker
Courtney Walker(WNEM)
Updated: Dec. 21, 2016 at 9:09 AM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - While many residents were grateful to see some higher officials facing judgment in the newest round of criminal charges, it’s not making it any easier for some coping with the ongoing water crisis.

Courtney Walker’s heart is in Flint. He grew up there and graduated from the University of Michigan’s Flint campus.

He is one of about 60 people living through the water crisis at Flint’s Carriage Town shelter.

“You have to use more lotion because this water will dry your skin,” Walker said.

Some people go to a shelter because they have nowhere else to go and others need a certain kind of structure that they can only find there.

“My colleagues here, they have much more to deal with than the quality of the water,” Walker said.

Walker’s daily routine consists of chores, eating with friends, and maybe working out. Before he went to the shelter, the 60-year-old was on the verge of committing suicide.

“If people can believe that being in a homeless shelter you can’t relax, but after adjusting you can relax,” he said.

He said he has the mental, physical and spiritual support Flint has received in the face of the water crisis. He thinks even the generous donors need to remember Flint had needed before the water crisis and will have them even after.

“It needs help and then some,” Walker said.

The water crisis comes to mind every time he battles dry skin after a shower. But for Walker, and many people around Flint, the battles go way beyond toxic water.