Yes Flint is very depressed. You can go for blocks and blocks, really miles and see nothing but boarded up or half burnt houses. All are picked over from scrappers.
Lots of questionable people on the corner drinking their "40 ouncer" at 10 in the morning.
At one time Flint had approx. 75,000 people employed by GM. Lots of good wages, now I think that number is approx. 9,000. Once all those jobs left things started going down. Started around 1980.
Flint and Detroit are two completely different cities. Detroit had the same employment drop as Flint, but worse, with all the auto manufacturers and suppliers closing their doors.
I feel a lot safer when I have to go to Flint because growing up near there I know the areas to avoid. Over the last 25 years, the bad areas got worse, and the worse areas are war zones. The police don"t even like to respond in those areas.
Overall it is really sad. I went to U of M Flint and there are lots of little areas where people are trying to revive things and make it a nice place to hang out. Four blocks around downtown and UM-F are ok, but venture a few blocks too far and you better have a gun.
The old mayor even publicly said that white people should not go north of the river in Flint.