LOGAN – Jimmy Birman of United Way of Cache Valley said they’ve seen an uptick in 211 calls from residents needing help with essential services in the Logan area. The needs in Cache Valley go along with needs of people across the globe according to a United Way Worldwide survey.

United Way Worldwide just released their 2023 211 Impact Survey, the only one of its kind that collects data from all 50 states. It offers a valuable insights into the trends and challenges faced by households and communities across the country.

“I look at numbers from one year to the next and see a growing number of people that need help,” he said. “In 2023 we had 700 calls for help and in 2024 we had 805 calls for help.”

Total number calls came in the form of emails, texts or calls or referrals is increasing.


Photo illustration: Key findings from the United Way Worldwide  released a 2023 211 Impact Survey. People looking for housing assistance referrals continue to increase, with total referrals nearly double pre-pandemic numbers. 

“The highest number of calls were for people needing help with shelter or affordable housing,” Birman said. “The second is for people needing mental health care or needing to pay doctor bills.”

People needing help paying help paying utility bills was third on his list.

When they contact 211 they get an operator with a list of agencies people can contact like BRAG, CAPSA or the Family Place that offer assistance.

“If you are a family in need or somebody knows a family in need they should attend the upcoming Family Resource Fair. It’s free,” Birman said. “The Family Resource Fair will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20 at the Cache County Event Center.”

Birman said the fair hours on Friday will be from 4 p. m. until 7 p.m. and on Saturday it will run from 10 a.m. until to 5 p.m.

The United Way Worldwide survey results of nearly 16 million requests* and 19 million referrals* show housing, utilities, and food assistance remain the top needs of people seeking support nationwide. The 211 network receives an average of 42,000 calls per day.

“This system is about providing hope and support at moments when people feel most alone and unable to meet their basic needs like a roof over their head,” said Angela F. Williams, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide. “These results reinforce what we already know — there are still massive, and very concerning need gaps nationwide, particularly as it relates to everyday necessities.”

Key findings from the 2023 211 Impact Survey:

  • Housing assistance referrals continue to increase, with total referrals nearly double pre-pandemic numbers. Housing-related requests were up in 2023 to 5.3 million compared to 2.6 million in 2018.
    • Referrals for housing assistance continue to increase year after year with housing serving as a top social service need requested over the last six years.
    • More than 1 in 4 referrals made by 211 specialists were related to housing.
  • Utility assistance referrals rose by over a million, from 1.7 million referrals for help in 2018 to 2.8 million in 2023.
    • Combined, 211 specialists made 8.1 million referrals for help related to housing or utilities, an increase of 34.1 percent of total requests made in 2018 to 42.3 percent in 2023.
  • Food assistance referrals have started to decrease, although they remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.
    • In 2023, 211 specialists made 2.4 million referrals for help related to food and meals, and though national 211 requests for food assistance have decreased following a spike during 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, food assistance requests remain double what they were pre-pandemic. 
  • Mental health and substance abuse referrals have increased to their highest level since mid-pandemic in 2021, surpassing general health care requests.
    • Compared to 2021, mental health and substance abuse referrals have increased by nearly 9 percent.

“People are facing significant challenges, particularly within underserved, underrepresented, and vulnerable communities,” said Dr. Nicole Cooper, executive vice president and chief strategy and innovation officer at United Way Worldwide. “With the ending or reduction of vital COVID-19 safety-net programs in the past year, people are experiencing heightened burdens and are increasingly turning to 211 for support. This data shows us the need, now more than ever, to enhance capacity, reach, and efficacy of the 211 network.”

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