Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Contact Statistics
A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl
Vermont 2-1-1 responded to 2,196 contacts during the month of July, a total that is, like the June total, reflective of the financial relief that our few short months of summer offer. Many Vermonters allow themselves a brief respite from those worrisome thoughts about the impending cold season and the added stressors it will inevitably bring.
The housing-related contact volume this month shows a 9% increase over June’s housing-related contact volume. So, in spite of the warmer weather, this reminds us that there are many Vermonters who are either precariously housed or attempting to regain stable housing before the winter months set in.
Despite the concerted efforts of human service agencies to promote the availability of assistance programs for those who qualify, more Vermonters (those who are eligible and receive assistance and those who are not and don’t) are reporting food insecurity and requesting information about potential food resources. Food-related contacts for the first six months of the year total 392. Total contacts for the entire year in 2015 for food-related contacts were 505. At Vermont 2-1-1, Contact Specialists do their best to connect callers to resources to supplement their incomes by referring to both public assistance programs and to other local community food assistance programs offered by non-profit organizations throughout the state.
Consumer Assistance and Protection referrals continue to grow as more and more scams have the potential to affect the security of Vermonters. Contact Specialists not only make referrals to Vermont’s Consumer Assistance Program, but also advise callers to stay a step ahead of potential scams through provision of the latest info and practical tips offered by several consumer protection agencies. From the IRS to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, the warnings are all the same; whether you are on-line, on the phone or opening your snail mail, be aware of scams and never give out personal information. This year so far, Vermont 2-1-1 has responded to 230 contacts for referrals to agencies that assist with General Consumer Complaints and Consumer Protection Agencies
A flurry of calls for Disaster Services in July is directly related to Vermont 2-1-1’s role as the Public Inquiry Line during Vigilant Guard, Vermont’s largest ever statewide full-scale functional exercise. A year was spent in planning the exercise and resulted in a script that involved not only an outbreak of pneumonic plague in Vermont, but also earthquakes in Montreal, Canada and upstate New York. Approximately 50 communities participated in this year’s Vermont National Guard-sponsored Vigilant Guard exercise, which also included participation by agencies from New York, New Hampshire and other nearby states. Special thanks to the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for their strong support of participating agencies and municipalities throughout the process.
Read Vermont 2-1-1’s monthly contact volume report here.