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Flint rally to give voice to the poor, offer skill shares

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Michigan's four-year lifetime limit on welfare cash assistance begins Saturday, Oct. 1.

About 41,000 Michiganders will be affected by the loss of cash-assistance benefits starting Saturday, including 1,500 Genesee County families.

Nayyirah Shariff is with Community Action Brigade in Flint,  a nonprofit group created to help people on public assistance.

The group is holding a rally from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday at Flint City Hall.

Shariff says the event will provide an open microphone for people to explain what the loss of benefits will mean to them – or someone they know.

Shariff says it’s also an opportunity to trade knowledge and expertise.

“We’re going to be signing up people for skill shares, which is basically someone stepping forward and saying, ‘I have a skill and I’m willing to teach my skill to others, or volunteer my skill for the betterment of the community,’” Shariff says.

She says people will be encouraged to register to vote and elect lawmakers who better understand the needs of the poor.