By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – In September, United Way 2-1-1, a hotline that provides free and confidential information and referrals on housing, employment, health care, counseling and more, topped 1 million total requests.
“United Way 2-1-1- in Rhode Island is a crucial resource, not only for those in crisis, but also for our family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors,” said Anthony Maione, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island, in a statement. “Our ability to handle over one million requests for help is only possible due to the unwavering support of those who donate to our Community Impact Fund and our partners throughout Rhode Island.”
The hotline was launched in June 2007 when the state’s unemployment rate was just below 5 percent. It has since more than doubled and United Way attributes the state’s economic woes to an increased need for the hotline. The top reasons for calls have been, since 2007, for help with utilities, rent, and food.
The 2-1-1 program also has a website and strives to help Rhode Island residents through community outreach events and in-person at United Way Rhode Island’s headquarters.