GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Summer is typically a slow season for the United Way's 211 service, but this week's heat wave has kept call center operators busy.
On a typical summer day, 211 gets about 150 calls. Thursday, they got nearly 200 in just a few hours and even more in a week.
"I would say it's 10 times higher, but it's good things. That means I would say the word is getting out to call 211," call center operator Jessie Verville said.
Anyone in the United States can call 211, 24 Hour News 8 was told. Most areas have a 211 service. If you reach a call center out of your area, 211 can still usually help you find a toll-free number to help you close to your home.
This time of year, 211 offers help with cooling down. Resources are available especially for seniors or those with medical conditions that can be helped by an air condition or fan.
"There are resources available," Verville said.
The number of 211 calls last year actually caused the Red Cross to open cooling centers. This year, the demand from the community simply isn't there.
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