|This morning, I heard on the radio a public service announcement for individuals and families in need to call 2-1-1, a United Way help hotline. I hadn’t heard of this hotline phone number before so I “googled” it. What I found was that most of the United States offer this service for families in need which is also available in other languages, too. I’ve copied information from a couple of sites explaining what services you can connect to by calling the 211 help hotline. If you are an individual or family in need of assistance, please call the 211 hotline today. If you know of someone who needs help, please pass this on.|
About the United Way 211 Help Hotline
Every hour of every day, hundreds of people need essential human services – they are looking for training, employment, food pantries, help for an aging parent, addiction prevention programs for their teenage children, affordable housing options, support groups and ways of becoming part of their community. 2-1-1 allows people to give help and to get help.
2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that, where available, connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities. In 2007, 2-1-1 services in the United States answered nearly 10 million calls. The implementation of 2-1-1 is spearheaded by United Ways and information and referral agencies in states and local communities. United Way of America (UWA) and the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) strongly support federal funding so that every American has access to this essential service.
As of November 2008, 2-1-1 serves over 234 million Americans (more than 78% of the entire population) through 244 active 2-1-1 systems covering all or part of 48 states (including 31 states with 90%+ coverage) plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico. The remaining states are all in various stages of planning and implementation. Every few weeks, these coverage numbers increase.
As of September 2008, more than 9,300,000 Canadians — more than 28% of the population — have access to 211 services. Visit 2-1-1 Canada from more information.
2-1-1 Fact Sheet
What is 2-1-1?
- An easy-to-remember telephone number that connects individuals or families in need to the human services they need.
- Available 24/7.
- Easily accessible by landline, cell phone and the Internet.
- Calls are free and confidential.
- Multi-lingual / TTY accessible.
- Certified Call Specialists make appropriate referrals and monitor outcomes to ensure services are provided.
What types of questions can be answered by 2-1-1 Call Specialists?
While resources that are offered through 2-1-1 vary from community to community, 2-1-1 Call Specialists will provide comprehensive information and referral services to callers about a variety of issues, including:
- Basic Human Needs Resource: food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent assistance, utility assistance.
- Support for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities: adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation, homemaker services.
- Support for Children, Youth and Families: childcare, after school programs, Kids Care (health insurance programs), family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services.
- Physical and Mental Health Resources: health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, Children’s Health Insurance Program, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation.
- Employment Supports: financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, and education programs.
- National 211 Collaboration Information & Referral Search
- enter your zip code to find your local United Way
PLEASE READ: 2009 – I have received requests from young mothers for helping provide Christmas gifts for their children. As much as I would love to bring smiles to children on Christmas, I am not financially able to do so. All I can do is post information on where families in need may go for assistance - read through all the posts under the category help for families in need.