The Olneyville Resilience Hub, in partnership with the WRWC and Nine Neighborhood Fund launched the Lead-Free Initiative this spring. This program aims to distribute at least 2,000 top-rated lead and PFA removal water filters to residents of the 02908 and 02909 ZIP codes, while providing vital education on the dangers of lead exposure. The initiative’s goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of Rhode Island communities by providing both the resources and the knowledge necessary to combat lead exposure.

Pedro Espinal, the Resilience Hub Manager, David Morales, WRWC Director of Community Programs, and Elizabeth Gonzalez, Project Assistant, led the community outreach promoting the free speaking engagement on June 5th featuring DeeAnn Guo the Community Organizer from Childhood Lead Action Project (CLAP) and offered residents the opportunity to register to receive water filters.

CLAP provided a thoughtful and informative presentation to over 50 community members focusing on the dangers of lead exposure, where it can be found, and why it is especially harmful to children. The speakers provided information on how to determine the age of their homes and whether they have a lead certificate, with a focus on homeowners’ and tenants’ rights. Given the age of many houses in the area, which are often connected to lead service lines (LSLs), this information is particularly crucial. Over 50 residents across will receive free Brita water filters from this event.

David Morales highlighted the importance of this initiative: “While all of Rhode Island has issues with potential lead exposure, our neighbors across 02908 and 02909 are at disproportionately higher risk so I am glad we were able to facilitate a community program to inform our neighbors of their rights and connect them with critical resources.”

The Lead-Free Initiative will continue to provide lead exposure education and access to free water filters. Interested residents in 02909 and 02908 can register for water filters here

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