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Delaware 211 provides free vital crisis resources

Program connects Delawareans in need with assistance
February 13, 2021

The Delaware 211 helpline provides vital crisis resources free of charge, and its dedicated resource specialists help Delawareans in need every day.

From “hello” on, neighbors receive courteous, friendly, expert care and information, as well as follow-up contact to make sure help is on the way.

Delawareans are asked to follow @Delaware211 on Facebook and Twitter, tell people who might need help about Delaware 211 and consider donating to support the helpline.

Powered by United Way of Delaware and the State of Delaware, Delaware 211 is a free, confidential helpline that provides information and connects Delawareans with a wide range of critical community-based resources and social services. People needing help can just dial 2-1-1 on any phone, text their ZIP code to 898-211 or chat online at delaware211.org.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted this vital lifeline. From March 15 to Dec. 15, inbound call volume skyrocketed by 84 percent to more than 55,000 calls. In response, Delaware 211 brought on more resource specialists, expanded hours and now operates seven days a week in partnership with the state’s Department of Social Services.

Callers sought referrals for assistance regarding a wide range of critical needs, including medical necessities, financial assistance, and basic needs including food and shelter.

“More Delaware residents are in need during the COVID-19 pandemic than ever before. For about 40 percent of our callers, it was the first time that they have ever needed help. They were glad that 211 was there to answer the call and provide access to assistance. That’s why Delaware 211 exists,” said Donna Snyder White, United Way of Delaware vice president of financial empowerment.

“When someone calls 211, they aren’t just patched through to agencies. They connect with an experienced professional who listens and guides the caller to the help they need. Our specialists are trained to identify and address the root causes of a client’s problem and to connect them with a wide range of resources that can address their needs,” she said.

Snyder White said Delaware 211 helps the state’s social services system operate more efficiently, connecting people in need with the agencies and resources that can help – without red tape. It maintains a comprehensive database of agencies, possibly the most robust such database in the state. “No other program has its finger on the pulse of Delaware’s greatest needs and resources better than 211,” she said.

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