CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) West Virginia 211 is an information and referral service in the Mountain State. The hotline has experienced a significant increase in the number of calls.
Since March 10 West Virginia 211 has received close to 3,000 calls, texts and chats. That is a 60 percent jump from this time last year.
“211 has been super busy and we are just really excited that even good things happen through a crisis,” explained Margaret O’Neal, president of United Way Central WV. “People get that number pushed out a little more and realize that is a resource for them not only today and in the coming weeks and months but it is going to be here forever. “
If you need 211 but prefer to text you can send your zip code to 898-211. You can also chat with someone online.
People contacting the hotline are looking for help in three main areas. They need help finding food, finding rent and utility assistance and finding cleaning supplies and guidance on how to sanitize.
“There are resources still out there but they are fewer in number than they were probably a month ago,” O’Neal said.
The calls don’t just help in terms of sharing resources. They also help the United Way collect information about what is needed and where.
“So if 211 gets ten calls in two days about a resource we don’t have they can just walk across the hall to their United Way person and say hey can we talk about this,” O’Neal said.