For thousands of our neighbors who work in or for the government, the 35-day shutdown earlier this year put them behind the eight ball. Mortgages and rent were going unpaid. Utility bills were put aside to be taken care of … later. People couldn’t pay their health care premiums. Food was running out.
More than one-third of Maryland residents live paycheck to paycheck—or worse. For them, one unexpected expense, not to mention a full month without pay, could make it impossible to catch up.
United Way was there to help. A significant contribution from corporate partner CareFirst and donations from the community to our 2-1-1 Helpline enabled us to provide financial assistance to 57 families and individuals affected by the shutdown.
The 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline answers questions about public benefits and connects those in need to food pantries, health care services and utility and eviction prevention assistance. Callers also can receive information on mental health counseling, transportation, job training, substance use recovery and childcare services, and volunteer opportunities. During and after the shutdown, this free, confidential, service—available anytime, day or night—was a valuable resource for thousands.
Most of the shutdown assistance fund helped pay for back-due mortgages, rent, utilities and car payments.
Said one caller we helped: “When you said you were going to help me, I cried with relief. My credit is so important to me, and thanks to you, I could make my mortgage payment.”
Every year, the 2-1-1 Helpline responds to hundreds of thousands of calls for help. Answer the call with your donation today.