(CBS DETROIT) – The coronavirus crisis is forming unique struggles for families in the Metro-Detroit region and those challenges are staggering at an all-time high.
From food and utility assistance to housing insecurity, calls to United Way of Southeastern Michigan are up over 200 percent through the 211 hotline.
“This is a whole new group of people who are asking questions that have never experienced this type of devastation before,” said Tamara Bolden, 211 Operations senior director.
In addition to connecting everyday people with everyday needs, 211 call operators are now connecting families with COVID-related resources.
“We’ve taken over the state hotline for COVID-19 so we answer most of the questions regarding if people have symptoms. We answer questions if they need to be quarantined. Where do they go to get tested, and now we’re seeing the vaccine. So, people are calling in, the calls are starting to increase and its around vaccine, ‘Can I get the vaccination? Where do I go? Do I have to pay for it,’” said Bolden.
Renters at risk of losing their home can also call 211 as the moratorium banning evictions will soon run its course.
“And that’s coming up on Dec. 31. So we’re expecting a spike in phone calls regarding that. So, we are very much involved in making sure that we connect with agencies not just to help the people who are getting evicted but to help the landlords. There’s landlords that can get support as well so it’s not just for tenants, it’s for landlords too,” said Bolden.
United Way of Southeastern Michigan is hosting a virtual town hall meeting to discuss housing and eviction resources and that’s happening Wednesday at 10 a.m.
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