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Impact 211 Crisis Contact Center Receives Grant to Expand Staff and Services During Pandemic

May 2, 2020
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IMPACT Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (IMPACT) announced on April 27 that it was adding three employees, two full-time and one part-time, to its 211 crisis contact center staff, as the result of a grant from Bader Philanthropies for $100,000.

IMPACT 211 Community Resource Specialists connect callers to critical lifesaving services, such as food pantries, income assistance, health and mental health care, substance use disorder treatment; as well as coordinate access to emergency shelter and other housing resources for those facing homelessness in Milwaukee during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The additional staff members will help keep those vulnerable community members safe and healthy by accessing their basic needs such as food and shelter,” said John Hyatt, president and CEO of IMPACT. “The staff will also help people in need of acute mental health crisis assistance and domestic violence services. We are thankful to Bader Philanthropies for providing this grant at a critical time when our community needs us the most.”

During the COVID-19 emergency, crisis calls to the IMPACT 211 contact center have more than doubled. Milwaukee County Emergency Management, City of Milwaukee Health Department and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County are all promoting IMPACT as the place for up-to-date resources, including COVID-19 information and assistance.

The Milwaukee-based nonprofit’s role in southeastern Wisconsin’s response to COVID-19 is built on 60 years of experience helping those in personal crises access resources to achieve stability, as well as collaborating with community partners to foster system improvement. The organization serves the most vulnerable, including the elderly, those with health conditions, those that are living in poverty, those that are recently unemployed and who are in desperate need of the most basic, life-sustaining needs.

“Those in our community who have been marginalized and are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic are our primary concern with these emergency funds,” said Daniel J. Bader, president and CEO of Bader Philanthropies. “IMPACT’s long-standing expertise in helping those in personal crises access resources to achieve stability and its ability to collaborate with community partners will help those most vulnerable. We recognize that this is a time when we can make a real difference in the lives of people who need many things, including someone who is ready to listen and help alleviate the pressure of today’s reality.”

The IMPACT grant is a part of a larger effort by Bader Philanthropies to quickly help southeastern Wisconsin organizations continue to provide services on the ground in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bader Philanthropies has funded 35 local organizations for a total of more than $1 million dollars to date. The majority of the grants were paid to the organizations in need within ten days of the request. These grants are additional funds and do not impact the rest of the organization’s ongoing grantmaking. The Foundation plans to continue supporting organizations throughout the greater Milwaukee area and Wisconsin at its current funding level.