United Way works to alleviate the critical needs struggling families need filled

Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 19:45:05-05

(WXYZ) — We are taking a closer look at the critical need to help families struggling during the holiday season in tonight's 7 UpFront segment.

We're being joined by Dr. Darienne Hudson, President and CEO for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan for his perspective.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"We've seen from our 211 information referral services that we've had more calls than we've had in recent memory," Hudson says. "So, if you can imagine, just three digits that you dial to find help for housing, for food, for shelter, for childcare services."

"We're still seeing, 9 months into the pandemic, that the highest need is for food, for housing, and for utility assistance," she says.

"When you call 211 all you have to have is your zip code," Hudson says. "You will talk to a community care associate and you can give them up to three different service requests that you need. They will tell you what non-profits are in the area that you can go to. We're connecting you to over 1,300 different non-profits in the area."

"Right now, we have needs in our food pantries, in our shelters, trying to administer food, helping to get people just shelter for the night," she says. "You can also be connected to virtual opportunities, so seniors who are isolated who could just use a friendly voice on the other end of the phone, and there's a number of tutoring opportunities for our young people, especially since, we know, all of our children are at home right now, learning. They need to have additional support."

"We're not shy on opportunities," Hudson says. "You can just go to our website, you'll see over 30 organizations and it's about 70 different opportunities that are available today."