Workers in the Washington-area travel and tourism industry suffered serious dislocations in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Thousands of hospitality-industry workers were laid off, and philanthropic, social-service, and unemployment agencies made exceptional efforts to meet their needs, alleviating much hardship. However, many workers still struggled to connect with services. Information about where workers could obtain relief was not always easily available, and workers had to navigate an uncoordinated and often confusing array of agencies and organizations providing aid.

This paper reports on these difficulties in accessing housing, food, and other assistance and highlights the need for a more seamless and accessible social-services system. One year after the disaster, it concludes, the region now has an opportunity to make real and significant improvements in its information and referral network by instituting a 211 system for connecting residents to health and human services.

Selected Media Coverage

Nonprofits Push for 211 Hotline In Region
The Washington Post
November 10, 2002

“Even with all of the expanded programs and additional money, workers still reported difficulty finding out where they could go for help and what services were available, just a very clear information vacuum.” ~ Martha Ross

Listen to the complete “Unemployed hotel workers in DC” interview in WAMU’s Metro Connections

September 21, 2002