From Hello to Help, United Way 211 Provides Critical Services to Southwest Alabama
In a crisis, in a disaster, in a pandemic, United Way 211 is here to help every person connect to available resources for finding food, paying housing bills, and to other essential services. That means from the first hello, someone in crisis is reaching a real person who can provide a connection to help.
In Southwest Alabama, through a United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) partnership with Lifelines Counseling Services, 211 received 12,420 calls and provided 9,416 referrals between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.
In the U.S., the Covid-19 economic fallout continues to hit low-wage Americans the hardest, along with people of color and those without a college degree. One in four adults have had trouble paying bills, especially rent or mortgage payments. One in 6 have borrowed money from friends or gotten food from a food bank. Half the adults who lost a job due to COVID-19 are still unemployed, and 211, the go-to information resource in Southwest Alabama, is still fielding nearly double its normal calls, mostly for help with housing, food, bills, and health services. For many of the callers, this was the first time they needed help. At the same time, community service agencies are struggling to meet the demand.
On February 11, 2021, National 211 Day, UWSWA thanks 211 call specialists and the entire 211 team for their dedication to helping people find resources and supporting this vital resource during an unprecedented year. We ask every person to say thank you by telling at least two people they know about 211. It is important that people know where to turn during a time of crisis. People can also help support 211, by donating to UWSWA at www.uwswa.org, 251.433.3624, or Venmo at @uwswa.