United Ways in Maryland are undergoing a joint effort to survey families affected by the pandemic throughout the state. The COVID-19 survey will aim to gather information from residents about how their employment, housing and basic needs have been impacted. Previous reports, including the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) in Maryland: A Financial Hardship Study released in July 2020, used data gathered before the pandemic, revealed that a record 2 million households were already one emergency away from financial ruin. As COVID-19 hit, the stage was set for the unprecedented economic impact we are seeing throughout Maryland. All Marylanders are invited to complete the United Ways in Maryland COVID-19 Survey between now and April 5, 2021.
“The pandemic has created a unique circumstance – more families and individuals than ever before are seeking services as a result of the rapid changes in industries across all sectors over the last year,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “The calls to the 211 Maryland United Way Helpline have informed us of an increase in need, but we need to know more in order to be even more effective – and expand our work to provide what’s needed where it’s needed.”
Before the pandemic hit, 39 percent of Maryland households were not earning enough to afford basic household necessities like food, housing, transportation, health care and child care, according to the 2020 ALICE Report. For many, the economic crisis has stripped available assets and abruptly put families into unfamiliar financial positions. The COVID-19 survey seeks information on a wide range of topics, including most pressing concerns, job changes, child care difficulties and other economic challenges Marylanders are navigating in order to get a better idea of the increased need throughout the state.
“At United Way of Central Maryland, we have been working hard to meet the immediate needs of our community members hardest hit by this crisis. These needs are ever-changing, and we need to look ahead to what recovery and rebuilding will look like in the future as well,” Baker added.
Several United Ways from across the state have joined United Way of Central Maryland in this effort. They include County United Way, United Way of the National Capital Area, United Way of Charles County, United Way of Frederick County, United Way of Kent County, United Way of Washington County, and United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore.
The survey takes about 10 minutes and includes questions such as, What are you concerned about in the weeks and months ahead? (Check all that apply)
This survey is confidential; no private information will be shared. For more information, and to help United Ways in Maryland accurately assess the need in their communities, visit uwcm.org/COVIDsurvey.