Our Emergency Services phones are busy throughout the day with both inbound and outbound calls. We handle thousands of calls each month. Some are calls for information, some are calls for appointments, and some are follow-up calls on inquiries we've made.
Calls averaged 143 per day in October and November of 2021. That equals just under 30 calls for every staff member and volunteer on duty. That’s a new call every 16-17 minutes, not accounting for state-required breaks and all of the other tasks required to assist clients.
Deeper analysis shows that each application for rent or utility help requires a minimum of three calls, and often 4, 5 or more. At the same time, not every call on our hotlines for food, rent and utility assistance results in an application. We have many callers daily who are just seeking information, or for whom we don’t start an application because they don’t qualify for reasons including: (a) they live outside our service area; (b) they want help for something we don’t pay for; (c) they’re not an authorized person on the account for which they want help; etc.
To put this in perspective, we are blessed to be able to serve those people needing help around the Portland metropolitan area. But to serve the greatest number possible, please understand that it’s important for each applicant to be patient, and to follow the procedures for applying for help that are described in our website.
Our staff and volunteers are passionate about serving as many as we can.