211 ready to help those impacted by government shutdown

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - If you are impacted by the government shutdown and unsure of where to go and what to do in your time of need, you can call the number 211.

Cathy Miller with the United Way of Madison County said potential callers will be told where they may be able to go for help.

"They will get a call specialist that will ask for their zip code and what their issue or concern is and they'll tell them if there are resources here in the community that may be able to help them," she explained.

She also said the number of calls coming from individuals who might not usually need the services of 211 are starting to pick up as the days of government shutdown continue.

"Many people here in Madison County are able to, in the short term, deal with this on their own," she said. "They can stop going out to dinner and just kind of hunker down a little bit and save a few dollars and they have some savings maybe that they are tapping into, but if this keeps going, which we hope it doesn't, but if it keeps going, that's when we are going to see the rise."

She said the main things government workers are calling in for are assistance with mortgages, utilities, and mental health.

"People are starting to ask for mental health assistance," she added. "It's stressful to have had steady money coming in, and all of a sudden not know that and the unknown is very stressful. Foreclosure prevention is another thing that, you know, if they have a big mortgage and they may be living almost paycheck to paycheck, even if they're making good money, sometimes that gets scary when you don't have that money coming in."

Miller said government workers affected by the shutdown just need to know where to go for help during this time, and remembering to call the number 211 is a great place to start.

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