Calls to Trident United Way’s 211 resource phone line have dramatically increased as the COVID-19 crisis has evolved. Calls to the Tri-County line are up 94% in the past week compared with earlier in March.
The dramatic increase happened in mid-March after Governor Henry McMaster announced the state of emergency order. Needs are likely to increase as U.S. Treasury officials say it could take up to three weeks for federal assistance from the recently passed stimulus plan to be sent out.
Tri-County 211 call-type increases in past two weeks:
- Food Pantries +778%
- Rent Payment Assistance +99%
- Electric Service Payment Assistance +32%
Tri-County food pantry referrals went from four per day in early March to more than 35 per day and rent assistance referrals doubled from 7.5 per day to nearly 15 per day.
One way to help is contributing to the Tri-County COVID-19 Response Fund. All funds will stay in the Tri-County. Trident United Way is administering the fund and partnering with The Post and Courier.
Tri-County COVID-19 Response Fund contributions will be used for:
- Basic needs support to address loss of work or other financial hardships
- Deploying efficient emergency networks of agencies with proven on the ground experience
- Support nonprofit partners with the surge of assistance requests and supplement service capacity
Trident United Way is underwriting all costs associated with disbursing 100% of the funds going directly to COVID-19 response and relief efforts. In the unlikely case all funds are not spent, remaining funds will be set aside in a reserve fund for use during future response efforts.
Below is a video from Trident United Way President & CEO Chloe Knight Tonney: