Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Update – July 2016


Vermont 2-1-1

Vermont 2-1-1 Launches Mobile App!

You can download the app by searching “Vermont 2-1-1” in your phone’s app store.

Go mobile and download the free 211info app for smartphones today!

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 July:

Top Services: Clothing Donation Programs; Community Meals; Homeless Motel Vouchers; Medication Disposal; and Assistive Technology Equipment Listing Services

Top Agencies: Vermont Department for Children and Families; Good Samaritans; CVOEO; NECKA; Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless

Top Search by City: Burlington; Saint Albans; Brattleboro; New Haven, NC; White River Junction

Total Site Visits: 2578

Unique (First-Time) Visitors: 1338

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Contact Statistics

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl

Vermont 2-1-1 responded to 2,196 contacts during the month of July, a total that is, like the June total, reflective of the financial relief that our few short months of summer offer.  Many Vermonters allow themselves a brief respite from those worrisome thoughts about the impending cold season and the added stressors it will inevitably bring.

The housing-related contact volume this month shows a 9% increase over June’s housing-related contact volume. So, in spite of the warmer weather, this reminds us that there are many Vermonters who are either precariously housed or attempting to regain stable housing before the winter months set in.

Despite the concerted efforts of human service agencies to promote the availability of assistance programs for those who qualify, more Vermonters (those who are eligible and receive assistance and those who are not and don’t) are reporting food insecurity and requesting information about potential food resources. Food-related contacts for the first six months of the year total 392. Total contacts for the entire year in 2015 for food-related contacts were 505. At Vermont 2-1-1, Contact Specialists do their best to connect callers to  resources to supplement their incomes by referring to both public assistance programs and to other local community food assistance programs offered by non-profit organizations throughout the state.

Consumer Assistance and Protection referrals continue to grow as more and more scams have the potential to affect the security of Vermonters. Contact Specialists not only make referrals to Vermont’s Consumer Assistance Program, but also advise callers to stay a step ahead of potential scams through provision of the latest info and practical tips offered by several consumer protection agencies. From the IRS to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, the warnings are all the same; whether you are on-line, on the phone or opening your snail mail, be aware of scams and never give out personal information.  This year so far, Vermont 2-1-1 has responded to 230 contacts for referrals to agencies that assist with General Consumer Complaints and Consumer Protection Agencies

A flurry of calls for Disaster Services in July is directly related to Vermont 2-1-1’s role as the Public Inquiry Line during Vigilant Guard, Vermont’s largest ever statewide full-scale functional exercise. A year was spent in planning the exercise and resulted in a script that involved not only an outbreak of pneumonic plague in Vermont, but also earthquakes in Montreal, Canada and upstate New York. Approximately 50 communities participated in this year’s Vermont National Guard-sponsored Vigilant Guard exercise, which also included participation by agencies from New York, New Hampshire and other nearby states. Special thanks to the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for their strong support of participating agencies and municipalities throughout the process.

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

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 146 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 July here.

Help Me Grow Update

On the phone lines at Help Me Grow VT, Child Development Specialists not only answer questions from parents, but also help to support anyone who is caring for a child from birth to age eight in Vermont. These include calls from childcare providers, social service providers, pediatric offices, and especially other family members such as grandparents, aunts and uncles. Some of these family members help to take care of children, and others have become kinship caregivers.

HMG Child Development Specialists answer parent and caregiver questions about children’s behavior and development and connect families to resources and services in their community.

Coming up in September: Vermont Kin as Parents is holding their annual conference on September 20th in South Burlington.

September is also National Baby Safety Awareness Month.  Call Help Me Grow VT if you have questions about Safe Sleep, babyproofing, car seats, etc.  You can reach us Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. by dialing 2-1-1 and pressing “6” for HMG VT.  You can leave messages for Child Development Specialists after hours, as Vermont 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Universal Pre-K Starts in September!

Are you a parent or guardian of a child who is 3 or 4 years old?  Would you like to learn more about Universal Pre-Kindergarten in Vermont? Act 166, signed into law in 2014, provides 10 hours of Pre-K education per week for 35 weeks per year at no cost to the parents. Universal Pre-K is publicly funded and it is available to all families, regardless of income.

Parents have the responsibility to enroll their child(ren) in a pre-qualified pre-kindergarten program and let the elementary school in their district know which school they chose. To find a pre-qualified pre-K program in your area, go to Bright Futures Child Care Information System and select “advanced search”. From there, you can choose to search for either a public or a privately owned pre-qualified pre-K program.

To learn more about Universal Pre-K, dial 2-1-1 and choose option 6 to speak to a Child Development Specialist at Help Me Grow Vermont.



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

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