(The following item appeared in the Charleston Gazette in Oct. 2011.)
West Virginia charity groups are reporting an increase in the number of people seeking assistance.
In the first nine months of this year there was a 6 percent increase in the number of West Virginians who called th statewide 211 hot line.
Local news sources report that the callers are seeking help with food, shelter and utilities. The hot line fields 1,500 to 2,000 calls a month.
If the upward trend continues, about 11,000 more people will have sought help with basic needs in 2011 than 2010.
The United Way of Central West Virginia reports that it has undergone a 146 percent increase in the number of calls it has received in the first nine months of the year.