House the young, feed the old

COVID-19 has younger Americans seeking help with housing while older adults are looking for food assistance. Regardless of age, women more likely than men to seek help with housing, food and utility payments. We examined 1,079,487 million requests received by 2-1-1 helplines in 16 states since March 12th. Requests included needs related to housing, utilities, food, COVID-19, healthcare, employment, mental health, legal services and household goods. The charts below show how these needs vary across age groups, and among women (top chart) and men (bottom chart). Housing related needs such as rent assistance decline steadily as age increase; the opposite is true for food needs, such as pantries or home-delivered meals. Young women (20-29) overwhelmingly call 2-1-1 for home-related financial needs. Housing, utility, food, household and clothing requests account for 76% of all requests from this group, compared to 64% among men of the same age, and 57% among the oldest category of women (70+). In nearly all age groups, men were more likely to call 2-1-1 seeking information about COVID-19, mental health and addictions. This was especially true in the youngest age categories. Data were obtained from 2-1-1 Counts, the daily tracking system of community needs. States included: AL, AZ, CT, FL, HI, IA, IL, KY, MD, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, WA, WY.

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