Well, that didn’t take long. Last Friday afternoon, somewhere in the U.S., a caller made the 5,306,109th request to 2-1-1 in 2020. And with that call, the total number of requests received by 2-1-1s in the U.S. surpassed the total number of requests received in all of 2019, with 156 days still remaining in the year. At least that’s the case among the 33 states participating in a 2-1-1 daily tracking system. We compared daily request totals from the 33 states from 2019 and 2020, shown as cumulative requests in the chart. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is clear. Daily request totals began diverging as the pandemic began, and grew wider over time. While COVID-19 requests account for some of the difference, requests are also much higher for food, housing and utilities. Through August 7th, requests to 2-1-1 are 74% higher in 2020 compared to 2019. States included in the analysis are: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WA, WI and WY. Three states (AZ, MI, WA) did not have data for all or part of 2019.
Contributors: Anita Udaiyar, Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Matthew Kreuter