PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, July 31, 2014

Detroit Water Project Brings Outside Support To Residents In Need

Congressman John Conyers, Jr., (D-Mich.) joins demonstrators protesting against the Detroit Water and Sewer Department July 18 in Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit Water and Sewer Department have disconnected water to thousands of Detroit residents who are delinquent with their bills. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Congressman John Conyers, Jr., (D-Mich.) joins demonstrators protesting against the Detroit Water and Sewer Department July 18 in Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit Water and Sewer Department have disconnected water to thousands of Detroit residents who are delinquent with their bills. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

The city of Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department has been cracking down recently on delinquent water bills, asking the 140,000 customers that have outstanding bills of two months or more to close them, or face water shut offs.

With the average bill hovering around $540, and Detroit’s poverty levels cresting 40 percent, many residents have been struggling or unable to zero their balances, leading the water department to shut down thousands of residents’ access to water, a situation the United Nations has referred to as “a violation of human rights.”

Oakland entrepreneur and web developer Tiffani Bell and Boston designer Kristy Tillman found each other on Twitter, as they discussed possible solutions. Together, they started the Detroit Water Project, a website that matches willing donors with Detroit residents who have outstanding water bills.

Tillman joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the project, which has so far amassed over 4,500 donors to close upwards of $20,000 worth of water bills.

Guest

  • Kristy Tillman, co-founder of the Detroit Water Project. She tweets @KristyT.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Peter O’Dowd follows the route of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train 150 years ago, to look at modern-day race relations and Lincoln's legacy.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 25 Comment

Father’s Love For Fallen Son Inspires Memorial Day Tradition

In what has become an annual tradition, volunteers join Paul Monti, whose son died while serving in Afghanistan, to plant flags at each gravestone at the Massachusetts National Cemetery.

May 25 3 Comments

An Ordinary Day At Arlington National Cemetery

Official ceremonies will be held at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate Memorial Day. Here & Now's Lisa Mullins has this report of an ordinary day at the cemetery.

May 21 7 Comments

YouTube Sensation Publishes Her First Cookbook

Maangchi's career was born when her son suggested she start making videos of herself cooking Korean dishes.

May 21 17 Comments

UC’s Napolitano Speaks Out On High Cost Of Public Ed, Anti-Semitism On Campus

Janet Napolitano talks about a plan to freeze in-state tuition, and campus protests against Israel's occupation of the West Bank.