TheHelp Me Grow Vermont report card for the first quarter includes September as this was the date of the “soft launch” of the phone line at Vermont 2-1-1. This report was prepared by Help Me Grow Vermont partner VCHIP (Vermont Child Health Improvement Program). This report is a global view of Help Me Grow Vermont and integrates data from multiple partners.
February 11, 2016 marked Vermont 2-1-1’s 11th Anniversary and the entire 2-1-1 team would like to take this occasion to express its sincere appreciation for the United Ways of Vermont’s continued commitment to the Vermont 2-1-1 program! Over the past eleven years, our delivery of professional information and referral services to Vermonters has grown in strength, expanded in scope, and increased in reputation, in large part due to the steadfast support of each of Vermont’s local United Way agencies!
Over 7,000 requestsfor assistance came into our Vermont 2-1-1 call center during the first two months of 2016 and 3,902 of those calls were made in February. February averaged 135 incoming calls per day of service, which is on average 20 more incoming calls per day of service than January.
Each year more and more Vermonters are calling Vermont 2-1-1 to find out where they can receive free income tax preparation services. In February, referrals to Tax Organizations and Services totaled 1,048 showing the largest increase in call numbers over January than any other sub-category All Vermonters can call 2-1-1 for accurate information about local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and MyFreeTaxes sites closest to them. Individuals who live or work in Windham, Southern Windsor and Chittenden Counties, have been able to dial 2-1-1 to get transferred directly to a tax scheduler for appointments. Call Specialists also provide information about income eligibility guidelines to callers requesting this free service.
A slight decrease in the number of housing/shelter referrals is the combined result of the State of Vermont’s investments in local community shelter initiatives, this winter’s lower than normal temperatures, and lower heating fuel costs. Crucial to Vermont’s ability to house so many of its most vulnerable population during the winter season is the longstanding commitment of local, volunteer-run emergency warming shelters throughout the state. In the first two months of 2016, a total of 171 referrals were made to Cold Weather and Warming Centers during Vermont 2-1-1’s contracted after-hours emergency housing response time. This number, in conjunction with the numbers of shelter placements recorded by other housing partners, illustrates how life-threatening Vermont winters can be for Vermonters without stable housing. The existence of these vital community shelters has provided safe havens for our homeless; offering warm, safe spaces to sleep and places to connect to helpers who can assist them with gaining access to appropriate resources. Reliance upon these “filled-to-capacity” shelters most certainly speaks to the kindness and dignity with which occupants are treated, but it also speaks to the growing need for permanent housing solutions.
Vermont 2-1-1 Resource Specialists are in the field learning about community resources all the time. Check out this resource corner to learn about the latest updates, timely information and stories from the field.
Everyone has to eat! Some people in Vermont don’t have enough to eat, and many people don’t know what foods they should eat. “National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.” The Vermont 2-1-1 database contains many food and nutrition resources, including programs targeting specific groups, such as pregnant women, older adults, and persons with diabetes or other specific conditions.
Here are just some of the Taxonomy terms in use in the database:
Spring is Coming and Emergency Housing Needs Remain
Through a partnership with the State of Vermont’s Economic Services Division, Vermont 2-1-1 administers the After Hours Emergency Housing Program beginning at 4:30pm weekdays, throughout weekends and on state/federal holidays. Housing in Vermont has reached a critical need.
With signs of an early spring upon us, Emergency Housing needs remain, even as the possibility of cold weather ends. Read more by downloading Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for February here.