Not everybody in Detroit can afford to pay their water bills. It’s a hot topic in the news, but what are ways people can do something about it? One way is an event called the Wave on the Water Gala that is seeking to raise money to pay for low-income families to keep their water on this summer.
Back in March the Free Press reported that that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) is $118 million in debt due to unpaid water bills. The DWSD is focused on shutting off water to those who have delinquent accounts of more than two months, who have been notified, and who haven’t opted to get on a payment plan to pay their utility bill.
Lack of running water can mean dehydration, inability to cook nutritious meals, uncleanliness, sewage disposal problems and contributes overall to poor health.
Water Access Volunteer Effort (WAVE) is an organization led by Carla Walker-Miller, a local business owner, to pay the water bills of those who need it most. Donations to the WAVE fund go to families and individuals that have already applied for assistance through established service agencies.
“I can think of no better cause as a community than to come together to make sure that children, families, and the elderly have access to clean running water,” said Walker-Miller.
Here’s more about the program, according to the WAVE website:
The WAVE Fund is the only program targeted for the city of Detroit residents with funds earmarked specifically for payment of water and sewerage bills. WAVE assistance is intended to be a one-time emergency fund in a calendar year to prevent shut-off. Most other programs help provide payment plans for ongoing help.
WAVE works directly with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), which has a big role in helping to make sure that donations get to the right customers. The Wave on the Water Gala is being hosted in partnership with the Detroit/ Wayne County Port Authority, the Michigan Chronicle, Ambassador Magazine, and WWJ-TV Channel 62.
The price for a regular ticket to the gala is $100, and there are many other sponsorship packages available for the event Friday night. If you’d like to support this effort, but you can’t attend the gala, you can also donate online.
A version of this post originally appeared on Hell Yeah Detroit and is reposted here with permission.