The city of Flint is now home to a first-of-its-kind-in-the-world water testing laboratory.

On Friday, October 9, the McKenzie Patrice Croom Flint Community Lab, part of the Flint Development Center, celebrated its grand opening with a live streamed virtual event featuring lab staff and students, partners, community leaders and financial backers ending with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The Flint Community Lab is named in honor of McKenzie Patrice Croom, whose father Juwan Croom is a life-long Flint resident and the son of Sharon Reeves and Michael Harris, a founding partner of Flint Development Center. Mckenzie was born with seizures that were complicated by her exposure to Flint’s drinking water. Mckenzie was only two years old but so strong, full of life and a true fighter at heart. She represents the need for the community to know and trust that their families have safe drinking water in their homes.

The Flint Community Lab provides Flint residents with a trusted resource for free water testing of lead and other pollutants. Through financial support from both philanthropic and private funders, the Flint Community Lab unifies residents around a common issue, the safety of water in their homes.

The lab will provide free water testing and resources in Flint to help residents navigate the myriad of information they see and hear about water quality, to ensure their families’ health. With the lab now fully functional, teams of students and volunteers will take and analyze water samples, survey homeowners, and provide filter, fixture and plumbing education.

Staff at the Flint Community Lab aim to test tap water from every occupied household in Flint by the end of 2022. Testing will be free for the first three years.