Thousands of People Find Help Through Delaware 211, a Free Helpline that Guides Residents to Local Resources

Impact of COVID-19 Continues to Drive High Call Volume Where People Get Help

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United Way
United Way

Wilmington, DE (Feb. 7, 2022) –This Friday February 11, 2022, is National 211 Day. This day acknowledges the vital services provided free of charge to citizens of our state by Delaware 211 and recognizes all who support this work with their time, advocacy and donations.

On 211 Day, we thank the dedicated resource specialists who answer the calls and help Delawareans in need every day. The day also recognizes our gratitude for the huge contribution made by our partners, community-based organizations statewide, for their unflagging diligence in working on behalf of individuals and families with urgent needs.

“Delawareans who are experiencing some of the darkest days of their lives often don’t know where to turn for help. That’s why Delaware 211 exists,” says Donna Snyder White, UWDE Vice President of Financial Empowerment, “Our call specialists are trained to identify and address the root causes of a client’s problem and to connect them with resources that can often address their needs.”

The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic resulted in dramatic increases in calls for assistance with food, rent, heating and utilities and more – as well as pandemic-related complications such as childcare, help with taxes, home schooling, access to technology and more. We are now nearly two years into the pandemic, families continue to need help for the most basic needs, and why we fight to provide easy access to local programs and services to address these needs.

Powered by United Way of Delaware, Delaware 211 is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects Delawareans with a wide range of social services. People needing help just dial 2-1-1, text their zip code to 898-211, or chat online at www.delaware211.org.

Delaware residents contact to 211 to get help navigating to local resources that can address their immediate needs. Between March 1, 2020 and January 1, 2022, callers requested help with these needs:

· 28,248 Health (including COVID-19 testing, vaccine, booster and general questions) an increase of 895%

· 21,702 Financial Assistance, including 8,757 for utility and 3,145 rent/mortgage assistance, an increase of 52%.

· 8,150 Homelessness, including shelter

· 6,204 Basic Needs, including food, an increase of 70%

The percentage reflects increase over the same time period prior to COVID-19 (Mar 1 2018 to Jan 1, 2020).

Delawareans are asked to participate in Delaware 211 Day by following @Delaware211 on Facebook, @211Delaware on Twitter and by telling people who might need help about Delaware 211.

“Delaware 211 maintains trend information that helps state government and local agencies plan and address current and emerging needs in the community,” said Snyder White. “Our comprehensive database of agencies statewide is possibly the most robust such resource in the state. No other program has its finger on the pulse of Delaware’s greatest needs and the resources to address them than 211,” she says.

Delaware 211 is supported through contributions and is funded in part by the State of Delaware. A key part of this year’s 211 Day Celebration is to kick off a $211,000 for 211 campaign to raise $211,000 beginning now and culminating on December 31, 2022.

“Covid has stretched our resources more than any other time in our 17-year history,” said Snyder White. “This is the first time we have announced public fundraising specifically for 211. Donations will allow us to continue offering the high standard of care we have offered during COVID, and continue to grow and serve more Delawareans in the future. Donations can be made at https://uwde.org/give-211/

About Delaware 211
United Way of Delaware has been a proud supporter of Delaware 211 since 2005. Every day of the year this statewide information and referral service provides Delaware residents with an easy way to get connected to help with essential health and human services, including affordable housing, utility assistance, healthcare, senior services, food and other vital programs. There are several ways to be connected to a resource specialist: phone: dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-560-3372; text a zip code to 898-211; chat online at www.delaware211.org. or visit www.delaware211.org and search the online database. Services are free, multilingual, and confidential. Delaware 211 is part of a national network of 211 services. For more information, visit www.delaware211.org, follow us on Facebook @delaware211 and Twitter @211delaware.

About United Way of Delaware
Founded in 1946, United Way of Delaware (UWDE) works to advance the common good by
focusing on three key areas: Grade-Level Reading, College and Career Success, and Financial Empowerment. UWDE is engaged in a long-term strategy to eliminate the root causes of the most pressing social problems in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties. UWDE is responsible for the United Way brand in Salem County, New Jersey, where its activities are guided by the Salem County Advisory Committee of the UWDE Board of Directors. For more information or to support UWDE, visit www.uwde.org, follow us on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayofDelaware, Twitter @UnitedWayDE, or call
(302) 573-3717.