United Way has received more than 1,100 calls from Hampton Roads residents needing help through COVID-19

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Nyla Clark, 3, accompanied by her mother, Chavonne Clark, sits in a baby stroller at a corner in New Orleans, hoping to get a few dollars from an occasional passerby Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Clark was a phlebotomist with a local company until she lost her job because of the coronavirus pandemic. She is waiting for unemployment. (David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The United Way of South Hampton Roads has so far received more than 1,100 calls for help from residents impacted by coronavirus.

The organization opened its COVID-19 response hotline two weeks ago. Since then, it has received more than 1,100 calls from Hampton Roads residents who need help. The United Way has been collecting data from those calls, which shows:

  • 37% of calls are for financial assistance
  • 90% of callers are reporting a total loss of income
  • 29% of calls are for unemployment and benefits navigation
  • 20% of calls are for food assistance
  • 11% of calls are for housing and shelter assistance
  • 70% of callers have children under the age of 18 who are living at home
  • 10% of calls are at immediate risk

The United Way of South Hampton Roads is working with case managers from Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, Children’s Health and Investment Program of South Hampton Roads, and the Up Center to address these caller’s needs by connecting them to services that already exist. Case managers are using a program called “Unite Us” that allows them to track the assistance callers receive and identify gaps in service, according to a United Way news release.

The United Way of South Hampton Roads is also raising money through its Coronavirus Recovery Fund. That money will be given to those most impacted by COVID-19, nonprofit agencies that are working during the coronavirus crisis, and long-term recovery planning, the release states.

The United Way of South Hampton Roads is also working with VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads to connect volunteers with those who need assistance. The highest need currently is meal delivery.

“This is an unprecedented crisis and it requires an unprecedented response,” said United Way of South Hampton Roads President and CEO Michele Anderson. “With the help of our numerous partners, we are creating a coordinated response to support our neighbors in need. My hope is that by working together, we will come out on the other side of this more united than ever.”

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