‘This is why we exist’: United Way helping local nonprofits through pandemic

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on communities across the area.

Organizations are working every day to meet the needs of local families.

United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County helps fund different programs through partnerships with nonprofits. They say the need was great at the beginning of the pandemic and continues now.

“We think we are built for this, this is why we exist, this is the role we’re supposed to play in the community,” United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County President and CEO Amy Linder said.

IMPACT 211 is a 24-hour hotline to connect people to the resources they need. IMPACT and the United Way have been partners for years. 

“They support us and without their support we couldn’t provide the service,” IMPACT President and CEO John Hyatt said. “People call us for the widest range of family health and social services, it’s everything from food and housing, mental health, substance abuse.”

Hyatt says calls have increased since March.

“On an average day in the past we do about 500 calls,” Hyatt said. “We’re always at least 500 calls, sometimes we’re double or even triple that.”

Hyatt said United Way reached out and asked how they could help.

“It’s everything from requesting additional funding, to PPE, to volunteers,” Hyatt said. “There was a time at the beginning of the pandemic when they even had employees who were volunteering to help us take calls.”

Linder said the United Way has initiatives in place helping people get internet access and reducing barriers people looking for jobs face.

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