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United Way releases community survey results

The United Way of Trumbull County has concluded another countywide COVID-19 survey to assess the outbreak’s mental, social and economic impact on children, adults and seniors.

The first two surveys were conducted in March as the state took measures to flatten the curve and again one month later to gauge the immediate needs of the community due to the pandemic. The third survey, conducted over the last two weeks, was distributed to assess current and future needs looking ahead to March 2021 — a year into the pandemic.

The information will help the United Way identify trends and local needs, better enabling the organization and its community partners to provide the needed resources and support during the pandemic, according to Ginny Pasha, president of United Way of Trumbull County.

Children, adults and seniors are experiencing the impact of COVID-19 differently, but the survey revealed that mental health assistance is a high priority, ranking as the third most pressing need for each group.

For children, food and child care tops the list of current and future needs, compared to rent and utilities for adults. For seniors, the top needs are socialization and home meal delivery, both now and into the spring.

The notable difference from the earlier surveys is the increase in the need for mental health assistance. This response jumped by 10 percent as people struggle with the stay-at-home order and the rapid depletion of financial reserves.

The local United Way also surveyed its 19 partner agencies that are delivering direct services. Reports from agencies reaffirmed the survey data, with most noting housing insecurity for those who access their services along with need for food and supplies.

Marlene Rogers, executive director for the Community Volunteer Council, identified adequate housing as one of the community’s greatest challenges, while Mike Wilson of SCOPE, Becky Edwards of Trumbull Mobile Meals and Fran Comstock from Foster Grandparents all expressed concern the pandemic is isolating senior citizens.

Anyone in need of help should call 2-1-1.

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