Increasing crisis line capacity


 IMPACT has more than 60 years of experience helping people in crisis throughout southeastern Wisconsin, primarily through its role as operator of the 2-1-1 crisis call center. 

Yet the four-week period between March 14 and April 10 was the busiest and most demanding in its history as it has served as a central point of access for information and a critical lifeline for those navigating the COVID-19 crisis. Daily calls and requests in general have more than doubled from 500 to more than 1,200. Nearly one-third of all requests have been related to food. Health care and mental health crisis assistance are two other frequent requests. 

A $37,000 MKE Responds Fund grant ensured that the organization could increase its capacity not only to serve more people but also to connect with community partners and build up its resource directory of more than 25,000 programs and services.

Jim, for example, had admitted to his daughter that he was not eating much after Gov. Tony Evers issued his “safer at home” order. His wife had passed away last spring and while Jim’s friends regularly had invited him out for meals, the group no longer met out of social distancing and health safety concerns. Jim’s daughter, who lived out of state, was concerned and suggested he call 211. He did and a community resource specialist there connected him to the Department on Aging and its Meals on Wheels program. The specialist also shared several mental health support services if Jim wanted to talk with someone about his grief.

“I see that coronavirus can’t stop kindness,” Jim said

Return to COVID-19 home

Learn more

Our Donor Resources – COVID-19 page offers information and tools for Foundation donors who want to help.