Year-over-year changes: October 2019 to 2020

Food, housing and utility needs reported to 2-1-1s in October 2020 were sharply higher than totals from October 2019. Year-over-year comparisons are commonly used in business to assess growth and identify trends while accounting for factors that could be seasonal. For 2-1-1s, the big difference between 2019 and 2020 is the COVID-19 pandemic and its health and economic impact on low-income Americans. As the blue bars on the chart show, requests to 2-1-1 for home-delivered meal services in October 2020 were 361% higher than in October 2019. Requests to 2-1-1 for help with landlord/tenant issues (+150%), rent assistance (+104%), helping buying food (+98%) and paying water bills (+76%) rounded out the top 5. Of the 10 needs with the largest year-over-year increases, eight related to food, housing or utility needs. Requests for transportation and healthcare services tended to be lower in 2020 compared to 2019 (red bars in chart). Analyses examined 382,987 requests from October 2019 and 508,390 requests from October 2020 as reported by 2-1-1s in 31 states using a daily tracking system of community needs. States included were: AL, AR, CA, DE, FL, HI, IA, IL, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WA, WI and WY. Mouse over each bar in the chart to see the total requests for 2019 and 2020.

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