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Daviess County Regional 211 Hotline Sees Increasing Calls for Rent Assistance


The COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress in many parts of life for families in Kentucky and around the nation.

During pandemic, the 211 hotline in the Daviess County region has received thousands of calls from people looking for assistance on a wide range of concerns.

The 211 contact line connects area residents to community resources on issues including housing, utility bills, food, health care, and mental health services. 

In the past year, the 211 line has received more than 16,000 calls. More than 5,000 of those calls were received in the last 90 days. 

Owensboro Community Development Director Abby Shelton said the majority of calls were related to housing and shelter, with most of those related to rental assistance. She said the pandemic has created a national struggle that’s definitely hit hard in Kentucky.

“Nearly one-in-five households were behind on rent in December, according to the U.S. Census Bureau," said Shelton. “With rent assistance also comes utilities. People are in need of catching up on all their bills. The pandemic has completely thrown everybody for a scramble.” 

Shelton said that of the more than 16,000 calls, about one percent were for resources on mental health issues, including substance abuse, crisis intervention  and suicide. 

The regional 211 line serves Daviess, Hancock, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties and is a service of United Way of the Ohio Valley.

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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