One of these things is not like the others: COVID needs in St. Louis

COVID needs are drawing a more diverse set of callers to St. Louis’ top helpline. We mapped 94,661 requests to the 211 helpline for housing, food, utilities, and COVID-19 assistance from 63 ZIP codes in St. Louis City and County between March 12, 2020 and April 28, 2021. The patterns of community need were strikingly […]

COVID requests greatest in CT, IA, MA

When States turn to 211 to provide COVID helpline services, it shows. States partnering with 211s to respond to COVID-19 calls report a larger share of 211 requests are related to COVID-19 information, testing, and vaccination than 211s in other states. We examined 11.2 million phone requests received by 211s in 33 states between March 12, 2020 and April 18, 2021 and compared across states […]

Feeding Tennessee

Food needs nearly doubled in the first year of COVID-19 across the U.S., but not in Tennessee. Why? The difference could be due to local efforts that began almost immediately when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Utah rent needs rise with COVID, expiring protections

Rent assistance requests rose 202% from 2019 to 2020 along Utah’s Wasatch Front. Rent needs spiked four times in 2020, all associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and relief efforts.

Unique program boosts food requests by NY seniors

Home-delivered meals for seniors just got a big upgrade. In Rochester, NY, adults 60 and older who could not travel to get food during the pandemic are able to order free meals from selected restaurants in the city.

NBC news story creates surge of 211 calls

On January 13th, NBC Nightly News aired a story on how to get a COVID vaccine appointment. In the story, viewers were encouraged to call 211 for help. It worked.

Preventing eviction? The St. Louis case for starting with 211

Communities trying to prevent eviction during COVID-19 might be wise to work with 211. New analyses show a near perfect correlation between the number of calls to a 211 helpline for rent assistance in a given ZIP code, and the number of eviction filings in that ZIP code.

DATA VIDEO: Month-to-month needs, Escambia, FL

We examined 34,671 requests received by 211 in Escambia during 2020 and plotted them month-by-month. Press the play button to set in motion a video graphic displaying these changes over time.

Year in Review: landlord-tenant requests up most in the Carolinas

In the south, requests to 211 helplines for assistance with landlord-tenant issues were 18 times higher in South Carolina in 2020 (orange line in chart) compared to 2019 (blue line). Large gains were also seen in North Carolina (+818%) and Florida (+93%).

Tennessee: Rent assistance drives end-of-year rise in needs

Requests to 2-1-1 in Tennessee increased steadily in the final quarter of 2020, driven by growing demand for rent assistance. Since early October, 2-1-1s in TN have received 1,191 total requests per week, up 41% from weekly averages in the 3rd quarter, and up 50% from pre-COVID-19 weekly averages).

Mental health needs follow COVID trends in TX

In Texas, requests for mental health services rise and fall with COVID-19’s impact. The charts below show nearly identical patterns in the average number of daily requests to 2-1-1s in Texas in 2020 for COVID-19 information and assistance (top chart) and mental health services (bottom chart).

Up most in November: Connecticut, Maine, Wyoming, Iowa

States with the largest increases in 2-1-1 requests in November share one thing in common. 2-1-1s in Connecticut (requests up 139% from October to November), Maine (+26%), Wyoming (+25%) and Iowa (+14%) have all been designated as the COVID-19 helpline in their states.

Show-Me: Holiday meal needs in Missouri

During COVID-19, food needs in the two biggest cities in Missouri have been strikingly similar. Until Thanksgiving, that is.

Requests for testing surge as COVID-19 cases keep rising

Requests for COVID-19 diagnostic testing are surging as new cases rise. Connecticut 2-1-1 reported 377,558 testing inquiries to its web service in the first 15 days of November, including over 50,000 requests in a single day, November 13th.

Rent and mortgage requests hit record levels in MA

Two powerful forces are driving requests for rent and mortgage assistance to all-time highs in Massachusetts. The peak in mid-October was over 200 requests per day, more than ten times the pre-COVID rate.

Missouri: 2-1-1 calls increasing in high-COVID counties

In Missouri, counties with higher rates of COVID-19 infection have seen larger increases in calls for help to 2-1-1. The top 10 counties experiencing the largest increases in 2-1-1 requests from pre- to post-COVID-19 all had high COVID-19 rates.

In Ohio, resources reveal need

Among the many lessons learned about 2-1-1 requests during COVID-19, here’s one of the most important: availability of resources helps reveal community needs.

Where is COVID-19 impacting non-health needs most?

Setting aside the health impact of COVID-19, where has the economic impact of the pandemic been the greatest? According to new analyses of requests to 2-1-1 helplines across the U.S., counties in Florida, California and Hawaii top the list.

15 counties with the biggest jumps in 2-1-1 requests

The largest increases in 2-1-1 requests are coming from counties hardest hit by COVID-19. Requests from Polk County, IA (Des Moines) increased by 274% from pre- to post-COVID.

Holiday meal requests coming earlier in 2020

Voting isn’t the only thing people are lining up for earlier than usual this year. There’s also turkey. Every year, tens of thousands of low-income Americans call 2-1-1 for help finding food to make a Thanksgiving meal for their families. In some communities, those requests are piling up already, weeks sooner than usual. We examined […]

Pandemic or hurricane?

With Hurricane Sally striking Alabama on September 16, we had a rare opportunity to compare the impact of a pandemic and hurricane in the same state and same year.

At-home schooling drives food needs higher in Seattle

As summer drew to a close and students in King County, Washington prepared to start the school year at home, food needs grew steadily. Up to 30,000 students who would have received free or reduced-price lunches at school would not be receiving them, at least in the usual way.

COVID-related health plans in CT drive insurance requests higher

COVID-19 and a slate of creative new state health plans are driving big increases in requests for health insurance in Connecticut. Since the pandemic began, requests to Connecticut 2-1-1 for health insurance are up 48% compared to the same dates in 2019.

2-1-1 helping school kids in Philly get internet at home

With Philadelphia public schools online through at least November 17, assuring internet access for all was essential. The City and School District of Philadelphia launched PHLConnectED, part of a $17 million digital equity plan, to provide free access to 35,000 student households.

CARES = calls at 2-1-1 in Ohio

When Summit County, Ohio turned to 2-1-1 to help deliver COVID-19 relief, the demand was clear instantly. Summit County CARES, a program to help families affected by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic pay their rent and utility bills, launched on July 6th.

California fires drive 2-1-1 to near-record usage

California wildfires pushed 2-1-1 call volume back near peak levels set in the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic. A closer look at 2-1-1 requests during the CZU fire showed a dramatic increase in disaster-related calls seeking assistance with housing and shelter.

PA: COVID requests drop, housing needs surge

Calls about COVID-19 may be dropping, but its economic impact keeps the phones ringing off the hook at Pennsylvania 2-1-1. In contrast to COVID-19 requests, calls to 2-1-1 for rent assistance, shelters, low-cost housing and help dealing with landlord/tenant issues have all steadily increased since the pandemic began.

Jefferson, Boone counties lead August surge in 2-1-1 requests

COVID-19 cases aren’t the only thing rising in Jefferson and Boone Counties in Missouri. So are requests to the 2-1-1 helpline, which links callers with food, housing and utility assistance, as well as help with other needs.

August requests grew fastest in less populous counties

Although urban centers generate the lion’s share of 2-1-1 requests, calls from less populous counties are increasing faster. From July to August, requests to 2-1-1 from metropolitan counties increased by 6%. During same time period, requests to 2-1-1 from micropolitan counties increased by 9.2% and other, more rural and less populous counties increased by 9.4%.

Iowa, Minnesota see biggest jumps July-to-August

Wind storms and back-to-school needs pushed 2-1-1 requests higher in America’s heartland last month. Examining 27 states in a daily tracking system, Minnesota (+24%) and Iowa (+23%) saw the largest July-to-August increases in requests.

Mental health contrasts: comparing NC, SD, MI

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected needs for mental health services? We examined 13,219 requests to 2-1-1 for mental health services, mental health facilities, and other mental health needs between January 1 and July 27, 2020, in North Carolina, South Dakota, and Michigan.

Utility requests surge in NC ahead of expiring moratorium

As state protections expire, calls to 2-1-1 for utility payment assistance are surging in North Carolina. With a state moratorium on utility disconnections set to end on July 29th, 2-1-1 has seen a sharp increase in calls for help during the last week.

Mental health requests in Ohio vary by age and sex during COVID

How do men and women differ in their mental health requests to 2-1-1 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and do differences vary further by age? To explore these questions in a preliminary way, we analyzed 768 mental health requests to 2-1-1 from five counties in Ohio.

Finding food in Florida: Needs vary by region

Food needs in Florida are high since COVID-19, but vary by region with rates of food pantry requests highest in the panhandle, SNAP requests highest around Orlando, and home-delivered meal requests highest on the southeastern coast.

Hispanic regions driving rise in COVID calls in Washington

Daily calls about COVID-19 to 2-1-1 in Washington are rising fast, driven largely by areas of the state with large Hispanic populations. With the pandemic entering its fifth month, COVID-19 requests in Washington have shifted dramatically from population centers near Seattle to south central Washington, a region with the largest proportional Hispanic population in the state.

2-1-1 rent requests rise with Milwaukee eviction filings

Eviction filings fell to near zero in Milwaukee during its temporary eviction ban in the early months of COVID-19. However, as the ban grew closer to expiring, rent assistance requests to 2-1-1 more than tripled.

Trends in COVID-19 requests to Connecticut 2-1-1

In Connecticut, requests to 2-1-1 for COVID-19 information are declining as the pandemic wears on while requests for COVID-19 diagnostic testing are rising rapidly. Moreover, most requests for COVID information are received by phone, while an overwhelming majority of requests for diagnostic testing are coming from online searches of 2-1-1’s resource database.

Housing needs rise as Wisconsin eviction ban lifted

Housing requests to 211 Wisconsin for rent assistance and help finding shelters are rising after a temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures ended. We analyzed 23,802 requests for rent assistance and shelters made to 211 Wisconsin before, during and after the temporary ban.

Tourist towns hurt by COVID

COVID-19 has been economically devastating to the leisure and hospitality industries and many people who work in them. Popular tourist destinations such as Las Vegas, NV, Atlantic City, NJ and Myrtle Beach, SC have seen dramatic increases in 2-1-1 calls since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Food needs soar, Monroe County (NY) responds

In a new analysis of more than 1,500 U.S. counties, Monroe County, NY stands above the rest in responding to COVID-related food needs. Its 2-1-1/LIFE LINE Program has seen a whopping 1455% increase in food pantry requests from pre- to post-COVID-19.

A roller coaster of social needs in Nebraska

Up, then down, then up again. Requests to 2-1-1 started rising again in a second wave of calls. This may be due to the large number of coronavirus outbreaks in the state related to meat packing plants.