Action Center

Support Emergency Funding for 211
What is 211?

Similar to 911, callers can dial 211 to get information about resources and services in the community. Information available through 211 includes: basic needs, food assistance, free tax preparation, holiday assistance, housing, job training, legal counseling, mental health services, substance abuse services, volunteer opportunities, and more. There are currently 200 211s in the U.S. that collectively serve 96% of the US population. Last year, 211 made more than 14 million connections to services for people in need, including 4.3 million to reduce and prevent homelessness and 1.2 million to reduce hunger and food insecurity.

211 WNY covers seven counties in Western New York: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming. From March 1st to June 30th, 2020 211 WNY handled 26,245 calls which is a 92% increase from the same time period in 2019. 

211 WNY continues to update its COVID-19 resource page. It is continuously updating provider information in the 211 WNY Community Resource Database, reflecting changes providers are making as the community moves through the different reopening phases.

Why does 211 need your support?
Since the COVID-19 crisis began 211s have been fielding 300 - 400%, on average, more calls than usual. Most calls are from people who need financial assistance, food, and housing. Based on call volume trends, there will be an increase in demand for support from 211 throughout the next 6-12 months, which is well beyond the current capacity of the 211 system. An emergency appropriation of $150 million is needed to build 211’s capacity to respond to millions of calls from Americans in need of health and financial assistance and support during and long after the COVID-19 pandemic. These additional funds will provide critical staff and technology enhancements to increase the network’s capacity and efficiency to help meet the demand.

How can I help?
Use the tool to the right to send an email to your members of Congress OR tweet at them! While UWBEC is regularly talking with our elected officials there is strength in numbers. They will notice when a number of constituents reach out to them about an issue. Feel free to share a personal experience or story of how  211 is important and why an emergency appropriation is needed. Messages with a personal note are more likely to get noticed!

About this Campaign
This campaign is a part of UWBEC's Summer of Caring. Summer of Caring is an eight-week event where you will learn more about our community and ways you can help. To learn more about Summer of Caring visit www.uwbec.org/summer.

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