Calls to United Way of the Midlands 211 emergency number have skyrocketed. President and CEO Karen Bricklemyer says the economy and those facing emergencies due to Missouri River flooding led to the increase. It appears that everyone has the same concerns. Most of the calls are for assistance for food, rent or house payment and for utility assistance.
Bricklemyer stated that people in the community face a real crisis every day. She says part of the increase was due to Missouri River flooding but the economy and lack of employment is part of the problem.
The 211 hotline is staffed 24/7 so these needing help can always hear a voice on the other line. Those staffing the call center then can direct a person in crisis to the appropriate assistance programs.
Calls to the 211 hotline have jumped 61-percent in the last three months.