United Way of Central Alabama scales up to handle calls

United Way of Central Alabama scales up to handle calls
United Way of Central Alabama is seeing a spike in calls seeking assistance as COVID-19 job losses mount. (Getty Images)

The sudden shock of illness and employment-in-limbo due to COVID-19 has spiked interest in information about nonprofits that can help. The inquiries into the United Way of Central Alabama have also spiked.

In a typical month, the UWCA’s 2-1-1 information line gets somewhere between 3,500 and 4,000 calls. Last week, the agency logged nearly 5,000 calls because of increased demand for assistance with food, housing and rental payments, utility bills and health care.

UWCA ordinarily staffs that line with a rotation of four people every week. However, there are now another 62 employees and volunteers who are picking up shifts while working from home. The agency said that more could be trained as long as the need remains high.

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