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In the summer of 2005, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to the United Way of America to demonstrate the ability of three Mississippi Delta states to develop 2-1-1 services and enable community resource data sharing. The three states, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, face significant social and economic challenges, particularly in the Mississippi Delta region. The focus of the Kellogg Foundation funding was development of resource databases and 2-1-1 in Arkansas and Mississippi, with particular focus on the Mid South Delta area. The 2-1-1 for northeast Louisiana, located in Louisiana’s Delta area, also received funding to enhance their resource database and provide expertise to the nascent 2-1-1 initiatives in Arkansas and Mississippi.
Only weeks after the award, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated much of the Gulf Coast. The Hurricanes fundamentally altered the original scope and timelines envisioned by each state. This case study documents the journeys of the three states to develop 2-1-1s and community resource sharing during the one and one-half years of the Kellogg Foundation funding, and in the midst of disaster response and recovery.