Calls to United Way's 211 line up 26 percent in four years

Omaha, NE – Calls to the United Way of the Midlands' 211 line are up 26-percent since 2006.

Last year, more than 65,000 people in Nebraska and southwest Iowa called the 211 line. Its goal is to connect people needing assistance with services.

Jamie Moore is Vice President of Volunteer and Community Services for the United Way. She says calls are up in part because more people are learning about the services provided by the 211 line. "And I think because there are more people in need, because of our economic conditions, we find there are people calling us who've never had to ask for help before. And so they're sharing that in their conversations with us."

Moore says the most common calls to the 211 line are for financial, utility, or food assistance. She says people are also calling to find services for physical or mental health needs.

The 211 line was created eight years ago. It's a public-private partnership of several agencies, including United Way offices in Nebraska, HHS, and the Public Service Commission.