During times of uncertainty, Americans come together to support each other, and Covid-19 is a new test of our collective strength, said United Way of Central Kansas Executive Diretor Gaila Demel. As social distancing and self-quarantining become the new normal, we’re facing new economic challenges.
So, to support this rapidly escalating need, United Way Worldwide has created the Covid-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund, she said. This Fund supports communities struggling in the wake of the new virus, by supporting local United Ways and 211, the go-to information resource in times of crisis.
“Every year, 211 specialists answer 12 million requests by phone, text, chat and email to connect people with disaster, food, housing, utility, health care resources and more,” Demel said. “There is no other network in the country with a similar pulse on America’s needs.”
So far, some 20 statewide 211 operations have been activated, and 211 is working closely with health officials all over the country to provide accurate updates to the public, she said. “United Way of Central Kansas and our 22 community partners are a part of this network thanks to a partnership with United Way of the Plains, who provides this service for the majority of the State of Kansas.”
This network can be reached by calling 211, by texting 898211, or visit the website 211kansas.bowmansystems.com/.
Note that one can dial 211 to speak to someone about local assistance at any time. The 1-866-211-9966 number that may have seen on social media is only available for residents of Indianapolis.
“Please be aware that financial assistance related to Covid-19 is not available for individuals everywhere.” Demel said.
“While a local fund has not been set up at this time, we are working closely with our community partners and other resources in our communities and will keep abreast of this rapidly changing situation,” Demel said. “UWCK is working hard to ensure that we are there for our family, friends, and neighbors as we learn to navigate this situation together.”