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July 20, 2015

United Way spends $50K on helpline specialist for ex-AC casino workers

Specialist will work for 10 months helping former workers and their families

Casino workers in the Atlantic City area who have lost their jobs will now be able to call a hotline and speak to someone who is dedicated to helping people in just their situation.

United Way announced on Monday that it will pay $50,000 to hire a call specialist for its 211 non-emergency helpline who will focus exclusively on former casino workers and their families.

The specialist will work for 10 months and help connect workers to resources for struggling families.

"Any who have supported the community in the past may find themselves in need of help, and managing the nonprofit and government assistance landscape can be difficult if you are unsure where to begin," said Jim Cawley, president of United Way of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.

The 211 helpline for New Jersey launched 10 years ago and exists to help people navigate the web of governmental and nonprofit agencies that provide human services. The most common requests for help are in the areas of financial assistance, housing, disaster relief, government services and food.

The city is struggling mightily since four of its 12 casinos shut down last year, which led to 8,000 layoffs. Almost 4,000 Atlantic City residents dialed 211 in 2014, more than any other city in South Jersey.

Overall, United Way says that 50,000 people in South Jersey called the hotline last year.

For a list of resources, go to For more information on United Way in the Atlantic City area, go to