United Way organizations provide additional $55,000 to Mass 2-1-1 to help meet additional COVID-19 demand
United Way chapters across the commonwealth are committing an additional $55,000 to the operations of Mass 2-1-1 to help staff meet the high call volume due to inquiries about COVID-19 resources and assistance.
“People are increasingly distressed about the impact that the COVID-19 virus is having on their lives,” said Michael Durkin, president and chief executive officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “As we would expect,” Durkin said, “callers are inquiring about information and resources for unemployment, housing, child care and food, among other concerns.”
Mass 2-1-1 has expanded hours and services to help meet the need. United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley is making an emergency grant of $30,000 to help increase staff to answer the increased number of calls. The United Way of Central Massachusetts is committing an additional $20,000 of funding to Mass 2-1-1, and the Berkshire United Way and Northern Berkshire United Way are contributing $5,000 in emergency funding.
Massachusetts 2-1-1 is providing real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages. Residents can call 2-1-1 to learn more about:
* COVID-19 prevention, symptoms and treatment
* Information about testing
* Guidance for people planning or returning from travel
Operators fluent in Spanish are available, and more than 150 other languages are supported through an interpreter services line that is available 24/7.
Residents with questions should dial 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone. Press 2-6 for COVID-19 related issues. Residents can also reach 2-1-1 through a live chat option on the Massachusetts 2-1-1 website.