2-1-1 Mobile brings rental, utility, and COVID assistance to the Macon community
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — United Way has created a six-month pilot initiative with the help of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia to create a new tool to give greater access to resources concerning rental assistance, utility assistance, and more to the Macon community.
With the funding of $175,000, United Way has been able to create the 2-1-1 Mobile, a van equipped with technology and Wi-fi access that will visit the Beall’s Hill, Mill Hill, and Pleasant Hill neighborhoods in an effort to help residents with the application process for rental and utility assistance, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, as well as other recovery resources. According to United Way, the 2-1-1 mobile aims to help increase vaccination rates and put government funds towards the local populations that need it the most.
According to the press release from United Way, Macon-Bibb’s vaccination rate is lagging behind other national averages, and the 2-1-1 mobile is working to raise those rates through access and information brought to the community directly. Lynn Murphey, Knight program director for Macon says that “The concept of 2-1-1- Mobile is all about meeting people where they are,” and that their “investments in Macon aim to help build a more inclusive urban core and an informed and engaged community.”
George McCanless, President & CEO of United Way of Central Georgia says that in many cases, resources are available, but the populations that need them most have trouble accessing them, and that the 2-1-1 Mobile will allow them to go directly into neighborhoods and provide face-to-face navigation. McCanless also says that, “. This is critically needed right now as we try to assist so many families that are threatened with eviction but have struggled to file for the relief funds that are available. With our 2-1-1 Mobile van and our team of Eileen Straws, Ruby Roberts and Pastor Horace Holmes, those families now have someone that will be right there with them to make sure their application is complete.” The release says that after increased vaccination rates and value of financial resources from COVID benefit Macon-Bibb residents, the service will be extended throughout the community.