Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Update – Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Vermont 2-1-1

Wishes for a happy and healthy spring from all of us here at United Ways of Vermont/Vermont 2-1-1!

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Contact Statistics

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl

March 2017 holds the record for Vermont’s second largest snowstorm and the March call total of 5,679 shown on this month’s statistical report also holds a similar record! This is Vermont 2-1-1’s second largest number of contacts ever in a single month! Our Contact Specialists rose to the challenge of this record call volume month by providing their customary professional needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services, including: homeless shelters, housing organizations, rent and security deposit assistance, food, clothing, transportation, health and mental health services, and domestic violence services.

Also worth noting are this year’s first quarter record-setting “call volume seconds,” reflected in the number of requests for referrals to housing/shelter, public assistance programs, and tax filing assistance. March numbers are second only to January 2017 totals in these sub-categories.

The most referred to services under sub-category Housing/Shelter include homeless motel vouchers (653), extreme cold weather shelters (48), and community shelters (42). In spite of the commendable efforts by local communities across Vermont to address the needs of their most vulnerable members, there was a 28% increase in referrals over March 2016.

General Relief (GA), 3SquaresVT, and Medicaid, Public Assistance Programs that provide emergency aid and serve as a social safety net for vulnerable Vermonters, make up the top three referred services in this sub-category in March.

Perhaps the most encouraging note during this month of record-setting seconds is that the growing awareness of free tax filing assistance programs that help the low- and moderate-income taxpayers has meant that each year more Vermonters have valuable discretionary income for everyday essentials, such as food and housing. In March, 582 contacts were made to 2-1-1 for tax filing assistance and tax information.

Read Vermont 2-1-1’s monthly contact volume report here.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence, which is a major public health, human rights, and social justice issue. It also serves to educate communities on how to prevent it.

There are over 50 agencies in the Vermont 2-1-1 database that deal with the issue of sexual assault, and many terms.  Here are a few terms to search under:

The Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault ( is a network of 15 prevention and advocacy organizations throughout the state. Its mission is to end domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and human trafficking. The network’s purpose is to facilitate cooperation, share resources, to raise public awareness, and promote effective public education.

Reminder: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Is April 29th!

(Please note: we ran an article on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in last month’s newsletter. However, we misreported the date of the event as April 27th. The date for this year’s take-back initiative is actually April 29th, as the headline indicates. We apologize for the error.)

If your prescription medications have expired or you are no longer taking them, the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day offers you the opportunity to participate in the largest, confidential, environmentally safe, and secure disposal of prescription medications initiative that the United States Department of Justice offers. It has become clear to law enforcement officials and healthcare professionals that medications no longer being used that remain in the home pose grave and unnecessary dangers to families and the people visiting their homes. This national  prescription drug take-back program’s one-day initiative, in partnership with local communities, is a big step toward preventing unnecessary deaths to accidental medication exposure, and its importance is underscored when we think about the growing epidemic of abuse, misuse, dependence, and overdose of opioids in our nation. Click here to find out the hours and location of a collection site nearest you.

There are also many options for convenient and safe medication disposal available year-round in Vermont. Local police departments, county sheriffs, and many local pharmacies now offer this important service to community members. For more information about year-round medication disposal programs near you, call 2-1-1 or search the Vermont 2-1-1 database using the keyword Medication Disposal.

Take back your meds! Together we can make a difference!

Help Me Grow Update

This month we will continue our series exploring the Five Protective Factors. In our past few columns we covered Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, Social Connections, and Concrete Support in Times of Need. This month we will take a look at Social and Emotional Development.

We all want our children to be healthy and happy. Supporting children’s emotional and social development is just as important as supporting their physical development.

So, what is social and emotional development?

Social and emotional development is a child’s ability to:

  • Understand the feelings of others
  • Recognize, express and manage a wide range of feelings and behaviors
  • Get along with other children, and build relationships with adults.

Children need social and emotional skills in order to develop the basic skills they need such as cooperation, following directions, demonstrating self-control and paying attention. Feelings of trust, confidence, pride, friendship, affection and humor are all a part of a child’s social and emotional development. Social and emotional skills can positively impact how your child functions at home, school and in the community.

You can support you child’s social and emotional development by:

  • Establishing and following a predictable, daily routine. (You provide security for children by being consistent and predictable.)
  • Identify and name feelings with your child so he/she can practice using words to identify emotions. 
  • Teaching your child strategies to calm down when he/she is angry or upset. Be comforting and help your child to manage their feelings.
  • Encouraging your child to explore, play and try new things. Provide opportunities for interactions with others (e.g., going to play groups with other children, inviting a child to your home for a play date, going to the park where there are other children playing).
  • Responding to your child’s signals and preferences (e.g., knowing when to stop playing when your baby turns away signaling they have had enough for now)

When you call Help Me Grow VT you can request a free Milestone Moments booklet to track your child’s developmental milestones up to age 5, including social/emotional milestones. The booklet contains tips on ways to play and interact with the young children  in your life that can not only help their healthy development, but create everyday shared moments that can strengthen your family as well. For more information call HMG VT Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-6 dialing   2-1-1 ext. 6. 

Vermont 2-1-1 Web Statistics

In addition to the contact statistics, the following data is from the 2-1-1 website and shows how the public used the database search engine during the month of February:

Top Services: Christmas Programs; Household Goods Donation ProgramsAssistive Technology Equipment Loan; Needle Exchange/Distribution Programs; Clothing Donation Programs;

Top Agencies: Salvation Army (Rutland); Department for Children and Families – Economic Services; Vermont Center for Independent Living; CVOEO; Department of Motor Vehicles

Top Search by City: Whiting; Hancock; Morrisville; New Haven; Burlington

Total Site Visits: 3757

Unique (First-Time) Visitors: 1570

Emergency Housing in Vermont

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.

Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists responded to 651 calls regarding housing needs. I&R specialists provide needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services to each caller. Review Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for March here.

United Ways of Vermont on Amazon Smile!

Did you know that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to the United Ways of Vermont? Support the United Ways of Vermont today by starting your shopping on Amazon Smile. Click on the image above to get started! 





Vermont 2-1-1 · PO Box 111 · Essex Junction, VT 05453 · USA



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