211 during COVID Crisis



211 during COVID-19 Crisis 


Increased call volume:  

Calls increased by 300% in the two weeks following Governor Walz’s announcement closing Minnesota schools  

Reasons for Calling: 

Reasons for calling have not changed significantly from pre-COVID needs. Callers are still looking for emergency shelter, rent assistance, and mental health supports.  

  • Calls about mental health supports increased 300% 

  • Calls about rent assistance increased 280% 

  • Calls about emergency shelter increased 250% 

One change of note was an initial increase in calls for food support, making up more than 13% of callers in late March sought food support. This atypical for our region. 211 is providing information on food shelves, free school free meals, and restaurants that are providing free meals.  


Service Collaborations 

  • Ongoing communication with 211 resource specialists to learn about trends and important changes to services 

  • Coordinating with operators of joint County-City hotline to provide perspective and support 

  • Developing partnerships with key non-profit agencies to offer free Lyft rides for specific food security needs  

  • Collaborating with Olmsted County GPS program, Olmsted County Community Services, Rochester Area Nonprofit Consortium, Diversity Council, and others in a “no wrong door” approach to information and referral 


  • Local restaurants including 211 information with takeout orders: Taco Jed, Bleu Duck, Thai Pop, Fat Noodle, Grand Rounds, Potbelly, and Tap House West End.  

  • Feature article in Med City Beat 

  • Interviewed on Post Bulletin podcast  

  • Featured on multiple Facebook pages, resource lists, resource websites set up by individuals