As the economy worsens, Metro United Way has more calls from people in need. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.
Glen Powell manages the calls that come into Metro United Way on its 2 – 1 – 1 telephone line. Since setting up the free calling line two years ago, the agency has used it to connect people needing help with childcare, transportation needs and substance abuse with member organizations.
Powell says these days the economic situation has more people calling the number for help.
“About 35 percent of our calls this month have been for financial assistance and support,” Powell says. “That’s followed secondarily by individuals looking for emergency food and shelter.”
Powell says Metro United Way is working with member agencies to help find the resources to meet callers’ needs. He also says the line has had calls from businesses looking for services to help employees who are struggling.
Powell says the calls are coming from all areas of the metropolitan area and from people who were not previously low income earners.
“This economy’s got a lot of people looking for help that would have never done that before,” he says.
The agency says it is working with member organizations to direct callers to places where they can get help.