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Here's what Michiganders have needed help with during the COVID-19 outbreak

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Many people have been calling 2-1-1 for information about food pantries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed life for Michiganders. But some have needed more help than others.

Gov. Whitmer has been encouraging those in need to call 2-1-1 for assistance. Now, Michigan 2-1-1 has released a dashboard showing the needs that are being met, and unmet, throughout the state.

In a press release, the organization wrote, "Michigan 2-1-1 hopes this information contributes to the many parts of the COVID-19 conversation, planning and response efforts communities and organizations are implementing throughout Michigan."

The dashboard compiles information based on every "connection" (defined as a call, text, chat, or email) that 2-1-1 centers have received related to COVID-19. It includes data from all seven 2-1-1 centers, and has a breakdown by county, city, zip code, and service.

People contact 2-1-1 seeking general information about the outbreak, asking for volunteer opportunites, or needing help because they have been somehow impacted by COVID-19.

Michigan 2-1-1 saw a total of 13,541 connections related to COVID-19 from March 5 to April 8, out of 48,897 total connections.

The most common reasons people called was for food pantries, rent assistance, disease/disability information, and electronic service payment assistance.

Credit Michigan 2-1-1
The most common 2-1-1 connections from March 5 to April 8.

The dashboard also tracks the needs that have gone unmet. The most common unmet need was rent assistance - just over 30% of those connections' needs went unmet.

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of organizations are experiencing changes in the way services are delivered in Michigan," explains the organization. "Tracking unmet needs becomes increasingly important to help evaluate communities' capacity to support those impacted directly or indirectly by the virus."

Credit Michigan 2-1-1
Services referred vs. needs unmet, March 5 to April 8.

Wayne, Kent, Kalamazoo, and Muskegon counties had the highest number of 2-1-1 calls.

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Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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