Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1 Calls Continue to Increase AnnuallyMatt Boster
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Nov 01 2012 10:22 AM
The fiscal year for Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1 ended this past September 2012. Calls to 2-1-1 from residents in the Wiregrass were up 9% over the previous year. Since opening the 2-1-1 Call Center in Dothan back in July of 2008 through September 2012, there have been a total of 50,751 calls from residents right here in the Wiregrass. 2-1-1 is not just a service provided here in Southeast Alabama. The implementation of 2-1-1 is spearheaded by United Ways and information and referral agencies in states and local communities. In 2011, 2-1-1 services in the United States answered more than 16.6 million calls. 2-1-1 reaches approximately 270 million people (90% of the total U.S. population) covering all 50 states (including 41 states with 90%+ coverage), the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Here in Alabama we have 100% coverage. Residents in all 67 Alabama counties can dial 2-1-1 and reach a live operator 24/7.
Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1 (WUW 2-1-1) partners with over 800 agencies and programs that provide help for residents living in a seven county region. David Duke, WUW 2-1-1 Executive Director, the number one call continues to be from residents seeking housing/energy assistance. This includes calls from many homeless individuals and families needing assistance to get back on their feet. During our previous fiscal year, Duke said 73% of the homeless population contacting 2-1-1 for assistance were individual women, women with children, & families. Food and assistance with healthcare ranked 2 and 3 last year for services requested. Since its inception in July of 2008, WUW 2-1-1 has provided almost 95,000 resource referrals for Wiregrass callers needing assistance and maintains a 98.8% of callers stating that would recommend 2-1-1 to others needing assistance. When callers are asked how they heard about 2-1-1, the number one response is they have called before. Being referred from another social service agency or friend/relative follow as the next two reasons for dialing 2-1-1. These three reasons alone account for 83% of the total responses. Duke went on to say, we do whatever we can to help callers but sometimes there are no resources available to assist for services such as rental deposits for housing, utilities deposits, and motel vouchers for the homeless who have no other place to go. We will continue to seek out resources for those who need us most in our local communities.
Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1 is here today because of strong partnerships with so many local agencies. We cannot provide our service without the continued support from our local communities to include the many volunteers who on a daily basis help us help those in need. Thank you! To find out more about the services provided by Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1, visithttp://www.w211.cfsites.org/ or Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1 on Facebook.