Tag: 211

#RideUnited with 2-1-1 to Access Resources in ATX

Updated November 2019 Since 2018, United Way for Greater Austin has partnered with Lyft in a variety of ways to support the transportation needs of our 2-1-1 callers. This post may no longer accurately reflect our current partnership with Lyft. Please call 2-1-1 for the most up-to-date information. Since the summer of 2012, Lyft has been giving a lift to patrons in need all around the country. Ride sharing and the “gig-economy” have become a very important staple in our society, and Lyft is ahead of the game when it comes to upping social impact in the communities it operates within. In 2018, Lyft partnered with United Ways in 12 markets around the United States, to perform a 6-month pilot test of making ride-share available for citizens in need, and Austin, TX was one of those lucky markets!    In 2017, the 2-1-1 network received more than 250,000 transportation requests from across the country, and on average 25% of these needs could not be met with existing resources (a heavily present issue in Austin, TX where we lack strong public transportation). That’s where Lyft came in. In an effort to address this need more effectively, United Ways around the country were able to provide 12,277 free Lyft rides over the 6-month pilot period. In Austin, TX alone our Navigation Center team were able to schedule more than 2,100 Lyft rides for local residents who were in need of rides to medical appointments, workforce-related services (like job training or interviews), or […]

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Community Needs and Trends Report 2015

Since 1996, our Navigation Center has served as the access point for our community for health and human resources. The 2-1-1 Navigation Center has published its annual report of trends in community needs for social services for 2015. This past year, the Navigation Center received a total of 261,504 calls from residents in need of help. The UWATX Navigation Center partners with 2-1-1 Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to help individuals navigate through 30,000 nonprofit and government resources in the ten counties we serve. The counties served through our Navigation Center include Travis, Llano, Burnet, Williamson, Blanco, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop, Lee and Fayette County. Here are some of the community needs trends we saw in 2015:   Increase in Housing-Related Calls Our data shows housing-related needs were the top subject 2-1-1 callers asked about in 2015. Previously, food-related needs were consistently the top need. However, they are related; many times when someone is paying a high percentage of income on their housing, they are likely to have a hard time paying for other basic needs as well, like food, clothing, healthcare, prescriptions and more. This year, the Navigation Center made 100,128 housing-related referrals, which made up 31% of total calls. Top needs for 2-1-1 callers Create pie charts   More Calls From Outlying Areas 2-1-1 calls reflect demographic shifts in our community. There has been an increase in calls from people living in Williamson, Caldwell and Hays Counties, which have experienced booming growth in recent years as people who can no longer afford […]

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Top Community Needs By District

Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away by the many great things Austin has to offer: parks, restaurants, concerts and local shops. If you live in a nice neighborhood, you likely aren’t thinking about how others, who may live near you but are struggling to make ends meet, are experiencing the same city in a completely different way. Using data collected from the 327,935 calls our Navigation Center received in 2014, we found the top community needs in each district. The top four needs were overwhelmingly the same for each district: Food stamps/SNAP, followed by Medicaid application, and rent and electric payment assistance. Below, we’ve listed other data that stuck out from our analysis: District one zip code 78701’s call volume increased 16% from the year before. Additionally, four zip codes in this district are within the top 10 zip codes that contacted our Navigation Center the most in 2014: 78702, 78723, 78724 and 78753. District six had the highest ratio of housing related needs, from Section 8 vouchers to help locating homeless shelters. In district seven, two zip codes are in the top ten zip codes that called for assistance: 78753 and 78758. Within these two zip codes, the call ratio per person is very high; there was one call per every five people living in these zip codes. Zip code 78701’s call volume in district nine increased 16% from the year before. Additionally, one zip code in this district is in the top 10 zip codes that contacted our […]

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2-1-1 Call Data Shows Community Needs and Trends for Greater Austin

Happy February 11th, or as we like to say at United Way for Greater Austin, “Happy 2-1-1 Day!” Each year, 2-1-1 resource centers around the country celebrate this day and aim to raise awareness about the importance of the service. Since 1996, our Navigation Center has served the Greater Austin community as an access point for health and human services referrals. We are able to quickly and privately connect those in need of assistance to nonprofit and government resources, as well as track the needs and trends of the community as a whole with each call. The UWATX Navigation Center celebrates 2-1-1 Day by releasing an annual “Community Needs and Trends Report,” a compilation of data reflecting the scope of needs within our community throughout the year. View the complete report for 2014 here. The most recent data showcases the suburbanization of poverty in our region. While 2-1-1 call volume stabilized in Central and East Austin, we saw a significant increase in call volume from outlying areas, including Pflugerville, Manor, San Marcos and portions of Bastrop County. We aren’t the only ones noticing this trend. According to the Brookings Institute, “There has been a 143% increase in suburban poverty in the Austin metro area over the last decade.” Of the 327,935 calls answered in 2014, 79% of callers were female. We know that single parent-headed households are more likely to live in poverty than dual income households. The majority of callers were between 20 to 50-years-old, indicating that it is the working […]

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UT Austin Students Win $100,000 to Build and Launch 2-1-1 App

Need help finding access to temporary housing, food banks or health services? You can always call 2-1-1 at anytime–but soon there will also be an app for that. A team of University of Texas at Austin students spent last fall developing a smartphone app called “CallScout,” designed to help Austin residents have easier access to social services information. VP of UWATX’s 2-1-1 Navigation Center, Kay Garza, said this app is an important step to bringing information to more low-income individuals because they are more likely to have phone internet access than home internet access. The project took these 12 students to New York in January, where they competed against student teams from other schools, such as Stanford and UC Berkeley, for the grand $100,000 Watson University Competition prize—and won! The app uses Watson technology developed by IBM. Watson is a supercomputer that can quickly sift through large amounts of information to answer complex questions, keeping “in mind” natural speech nuances. CallScout allows users to ask Watson a complete question, i.e. “Where can I find food for my family?” The app will then list nearest food pantries based on the user’s location, along with contact information, hours of service and user reviews. It also allows users to create their own review of the service received, so others using the app may see useful information when choosing a service to best fit their needs. The UT Austin students created a video showing exactly how the CallScout app will function. The Navigation Center […]

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