View UPDATED Buncombe County Community Resources Here (or dial 2-1-1 anytime)
The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge—for our community and for people everywhere—in ways that we are only now beginning to understand.
While federal, state, and local health officials agree that social distancing is key to fighting the spread of this virus, we also know that closing schools and curtailing public services will put a strain on many in our community, especially those living at or below the poverty line.
There are many in our community who are working hard to ensure that all our neighbors are cared for. United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is committed to being there at every stage of this crisis as it unfolds.
As a valued member of our community, we want you to know what we've been tackling since the crisis began, how you can find help, and how you can support others.
Our Response Strategies
United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County’s long history, expertise, and diverse network of relationships across the community position us well to respond to this crisis in critically important ways. Specifically, we see our highest priorities to be:
Connecting individuals and families in Buncombe County — and across WNC — to the resources, they need to get through this crisis.
- NC 211 is a valuable source of information and referrals for individuals and families experiencing hardship as a result of school and business closures. We regularly update the information in the database and spend as much time with each caller as needed to ensure that they have all the information they need.
- Community Schools is serving as an important hub of support for students and families in Asheville and Buncombe County. We are working with parents, staff, and community partners at our schools to identify the most urgent needs emerging from the crisis and developing strategies to meet those needs swiftly.
Connecting community partners in Buncombe County with the resources they need to effectively serve individuals and families.
- We've been tracking the emerging in-kind needs of our community and school partners and linking them with the resources donated by local businesses and faith groups.
- We've put our volunteer center, Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, onto the job of finding volunteers to support relief efforts.
Remember, it is still important that we all wash our hands frequently, don’t touch our faces, and avoid close contact with others. In addition, here are a few things to remember:
- Stay informed and follow the instructions from our local and state leaders. The Buncombe County COVID-19 Readiness Site and the NC COVID Response Site are just two important sites to keep handy.
- Use the statewide hotline if you have COVID-19 specific health concerns: 866-462-3821.
- Call United Way’s 2-1-1 if you have questions about general community support services (24 hours a day/7 days a week) and please encourage others to call as well.
- Sign up for periodic alerts on volunteer opportunities that will arise during this health crisis and let others know to do the same.
- Keep your eyes open for scams or even well-meaning but inaccurate social shares. We spotted a post about “United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund”. Upon further investigation, we learned that this was for Indiana residents only and quickly got that information out to the people sharing it. If you ever have a question about the legitimacy of an offer, check around and if it relates to us, give us a call or drop us a line and we can verify that for you.
- Be sure to fill out your Census card. If you can't find your census card NO PROBLEM! Click here to submit your family response online. This is a crucial thing for us all to do as it ensures the proper allocation of federal and state resources to communities across the country.
- Support our work on the ground, right here in Buncombe County and for those interested in supporting regional efforts, visit the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
These are challenging times, but we will get through them if we choose to LIVE UNITED.