4-month trends: 2-1-1 requests during COVID-19

July 22, 2020

Going up: needs for low-cost housing, child care, health services, and COVID-19 requests. Coming down: food and unemployment requests. We examined requests for assistance in 12 need categories reported by 2-1-1s in 32 states since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In each of the 12 charts below, we show the average number of daily requests pre-COVID, and for every month thereafter. Requests for low-cost housing increased for the third month in a row, while child care, health services and COVID-19 needs have each grown for the last two months. Although requests for food pantries, home-delivered meals and unemployment benefits have declined for three consecutive months, their drops were smaller in month 4 than previously, and all three are still much higher than pre-COVID rates. After steady increases for three months, requests for help dealing with landlord-tenant issues stabilized in month 4. Looking ahead to month 5, we will be watching rent requests closely, as many of the temporary eviction bans are set to expire in the next week. We divided requests into five periods: Pre-COVID (January 1 – March 11), Month 1 (March 12 – April 11), Month 2 (April 12 – May 11), Month 3 (May 12 – June 11), and Month 4 (June 12 – July 11), and plotted the average daily requests for each period for 12 different social needs. States in this analysis included AL, AR, 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.

Contributors: Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Matthew Kreuter