June 4, 2020 – United Way’s 211 has been responding to callers from all corners of the State since Governor Cooper activated NC 211 as part of the State’s response to COVID-19 on March 18th. At 12:34AM on Wednesday May 27th, a 211 Call Specialist handled call number 50,000. From western North Carolina, the caller was seeking help finding a COVID testing site and did not know where to turn. The NC 211 call specialist was able to provide the caller with information on where they could find testing site information and the number for a local health care provider to contact the next morning.
211 Call Specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and not just during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the support from local United Way organizations across North Carolina, NC 211 is here 365 days a year to help North Carolinians facing individual and family crises. NC 211 offers information and connects to local resources, such as, help paying a utility bill, finding food to make it through the month, or where to turn for support in caring for an aging parent. For 16 years, NC 211 has helped connect North Carolinians to health and human service resources that meet their needs.
“Our COVID-19 response would not be possible without the dedicated professionals at our Durham and Asheville call centers who offer a compassionate voice and relevant information to community members during COVID-19” states the NC 2-1-1 State Director, Heather Black. “This pandemic has impacted every North Carolinian in some way, and we are grateful to work alongside of the State’s Emergency Response Team in bringing trusted information and resources to our callers.”
The first days of response saw a 400% increase in calls and has since leveled off to double the amount of calls received prior to COVID-19 response. NC 211 has met this challenge through partnership with the NC Tourism Center, United Way Worldwide, the City of Asheville, and Cardinal Innovations.
United Way of North Carolina is a statewide organization, supporting 51 local United Way organizations and administering the 211 system. For more information about NC 211 visit nc211.org or visit nc.211counts.org for a dashboard of caller needs by county or zip code.