June summary: rent assistance and COVID-19 lead all 2-1-1 requests

July 7, 2020

Requests to 2-1-1 for rent assistance and COVID-19 information topped all categories in June, while requests for low-cost housing and help buying food increased the most over May. Average daily requests to 2-1-1 for all needs increased slightly (+3%) from May to June, and requests in June remain well-above pre-COVID-19 levels (+28%). After rent assistance and COVID-19, the most frequent requests were for shelters, electric bill payment assistance, and food pantries. Food pantry requests in June were still dramatically higher (+159%) than pre-COVID-19 rates. Requests for low-cost housing and help buying food (which includes SNAP eligibility and applications) increased 24% and 21% since May, respectively. Tax preparation requests also rose in June as the extended filing deadline drew near. Analyses considered phone requests received by 2-1-1s in 32 states participating in a 2-1-1 daily tracking system . Web requests add considerably to these numbers (e.g., 146,605 COVID-19 requests in June), but are not currently reported by all 2-1-1s. Pre-COVID-19 dates included January 1 – March 11, 2020.

Contributors: Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Irum Javed, Matthew Kreuter