(SAVANNAH) A year-round effort to help meet basic human needs takes on new significance in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Help for storm victims in the Coastal Empire is just a phone call away thanks to the phone bank staffed by the United Way of the Coastal Empire. President and CEO, Gregg Schroeder, says the United Way 2-1-1 service provides citizens with health and human services information. But the phone bank means more than calls for help, it also gives people the opportunity to donate goods and to volunteer services by using one easy to remember phone number: 211.
Calls for help are flowing into the United 211 call center from a six county region along Georgia’s 100 mile coastline. Schroeder says when you call, you’ll speak with a live, knowledgeable, trained operator who can refer you to the specific community services you need. ” We’re talking food cards, gas cards, provided some temporary housing assistance for people in need, and we’ve been helping, obviously prior to the storm and now after the storm through 211, but also through our front line agencies.” Schroeder said.
The United Way’s network of partners stands strong after the storm, maintaining a vital connection to the public to help them find assistance to meet basic human needs after the storm. “211 works with really not only our 58 agencies, but also our network of other human services agencies. We’ve got over 300 agencies in our database, to help people with, it, it primarily basic human needs, uh, electricity, rents, food, things of that nature.” Schroeder said. He adds that annual community donations help the United Way in it’s mission to help others with some the basic human needs. Schroeder adds those calls for assistance have surged in Matthew’s wake. “We field about a thousand calls a month on average, although I’m sure this month will be a big spike, because we’ve helped over two hundred families just in the last week, with basic human needs.” said Schroeder.
United 211 is available Monday thru Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Translation service is available for over 50 languages. All calls are confidential and give you the opportunity to ask questions and get answers. It is truly one-stop shopping for help, not just after the storm, but year round. United Way 2-1-1 serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh Counties. To Access United Way 211, simply dial 2-1-1 or (912)-651-7730.