Community Foundation Grant Helps 2-1-1 Broward Answer The Call For Residents In Need

May 14, 2020
An emergency grant from the Community Foundation of Broward is helping 2-1-1 Broward add staff and technology improvements to handle a spike in helpline calls.

The 2-1-1 Broward helpline is ringing off the hook as Broward residents struggle to survive the health and economic effects of the coronavirus. Many people are finding themselves in need for the very first time. This 24/7 helpline has become a lifeline – connecting people to vital community services and crisis support during their moment of need.

As the coronavirus crisis unfolded, the Community Foundation of Broward reached out to 2-1-1 Broward and learned that this critical community resource was unable to keep up with increased demand. Between February and April, the helpline saw a 92 percent increase in calls, and they expect the number to keep climbing for the next 12 months.

The Community Foundation has responded with an $86,800 emergency grant that enables 2-1-1 Broward to add two staff members to meet the growing call volume from thousands of Broward residents. The grant also supports technology improvements, including the addition of text and chat capabilities to 2-1-1 Broward.

"2-1-1 Broward is seeing an increase in mental health, emergency food and financial assistance related calls, in addition to an increase in overall call volume," said Sheila Smith, President/CEO of 2-1-1 Broward.  "This grant will help meet the urgent needs of Broward residents who are struggling with the negative health and economic effects of the coronavirus."

Crisis support for 2-1-1 Broward is one example of the bold impact from seven new emergency grants awarded as part of the Community Foundation’s ongoing response to the coronavirus. These new grants, totaling $500,000, support nonprofit organizations working on the front lines to help local residents face this crisis.

And prior to the new wave of grants, the Foundation provided more than $1 million in immediate crisis support by releasing restrictions on existing grants to help nonprofits facing the local effects of the coronavirus.

“Broward nonprofits are under intense pressure to meet immediate critical needs in our community as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its health-related and economic impacts,” Foundation President/CEO Linda B. Carter said.  

Philanthropists with endowed charitable Funds at the Community Foundation have made it possible to deliver crucial crisis relief quickly to nonprofits, directed where it’s needed the most to face the coronavirus.

And this is just the beginning of the bold impact of local philanthropy.

The local consequences of the coronavirus are still unfolding and will be with us for years to come. Because endowed resources can last forever, the Community Foundation will be there to identify and invest in the long-term solutions Broward needs – during this crisis and beyond.

The seven new coronavirus response grants, which support projects such as 2-1-1 Broward, were made possible by the following charitable Funds at the Community Foundation:

  • Kearns Family Foundation Fund
  • August Urbanek Family Fund
  • Marlene Holder Fund for Broward
  • Jan Moran Unrestricted Fund
  • David and Francie Horvitz Family Fund
  • Barbara and Michael G. Landry Fund for Broward
  • Herschell and Margo Lewis Fund
  • Drial Foundation Fund
  • Mary N. Porter Community Impact Fund
  • Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund
  • Bank of America Unrestricted Fund
  • Community Impact Fund
Contact Information

For more information about the Community Foundation of Broward, contact or 954-761-9503.

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