Wiregrass 211 call center breaks 10 year call volume record

Wiregrass 211 call center breaks 10 year call volume record
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

WIREGRASS, AL (WSFA) - Wiregrass 211 call center is winding down after one of their busiest months in their 10 year history.

November is typically their highest call volume month, but this year it broke records. The center got 2,280 calls, according to Executive Director David Duke. That's nearly 700 more calls than last November and the most calls they've gotten in one month since opening.

"We're just glad that we're here and able to provide a service," said Duke.

Wiregrass 211 provides information and connects people living in Barbour, Covington, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties to about 900 agencies to help them with specific needs. The center says some of the calls last month were related to getting help with food assistance or upcoming holiday needs, but they're also seeing more people calling requesting help with healthcare needs.

"Anybody who contacts us health wise and they don't have health insurance, we're making sure they are aware of local programs here in our area and people who can help work with them and navigate through that process," said Duke.

The service also connects people with resources if they're interested in giving back.

Duke says the high call volume numbers could be because of more community awareness.

"People could look at it and say, wow there are a lot of people in the Wiregrass who need help. I think that that is true. I think there're a lot of people across the state who need help. I think there are more people in the Wiregrass area and this region who may be aware of 211 than other regions. When Hurricane Irma came through we had the evacuees come through and 211 was extremely visible in the community," said Duke.

The call center has three employees on staff and nine volunteers. Workers say although November was hectic, being able to service such a large number of people was worth it.

"At the end of the day your mind is kind of boggled, but you go home feeling you did something really special. It's a good day," said Sandy Hilton, 211 Call Center Employee.

The center doesn't expect numbers to increase in the month of December.

In addition to getting help through the Wiregrass 211 Call Center, you can also get help online or through the text service.

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