211 supports Cleveland’s 311 Call Center

In April of 2023, The City of Cleveland selected United Way of Greater Cleveland to support the City’s 311 call center as the answering service outside of normal business hours as well as on weekends, holidays, and during surge periods.

“We promised to be an administration that answers the call, and this partnership with United Way of Greater Cleveland will help us do that better, extending high-quality customer service 24/7,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb.

United Way is a natural fit for this partnership. Since 2004, 211 has provided free, confidential resource referrals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. United Way is also uniquely familiar with city services, providing more than 7,000 referrals to City of Cleveland departments each year.

“Last year, United Way 211 answered more than 160,000 calls for help, connecting residents with access to information and community resources. United Way is excited to partner with the City of Cleveland to staff the 311 line after hours and during holidays and weekends,” said United Way of Greater Cleveland’s President and CEO Sharon Sobol Jordan.

“We promised to be an administration that answers the call, and this partnership with United Way of Greater Cleveland will help us do that better, extending high-quality customer service 24/7.”

Since the contract began in April, four new staff people have been added to the United Way team to meet the needs of residents contacting 311 after hours. Additionally, all 211 staff have been cross-trained to appropriately respond to 311 calls. In the first three months of the contract, United Way responded to more than 2,000 contacts for assistance. More than half of the contacts are from residents over the age of 50.

The top five requests among these contacts are garbage pick-up, street maintenance, dead animal pick-up, large item trash pick-up, and flood control. Occasionally, callers require immediate assistance. Such is the case for contacts regarding road obstructions, water main breaks, sewer back-ups, malfunctioning traffic signals, and the like. When this occurs, United Way staff escalate the incident to on-call staff within the appropriate city department, which then dispatches workers.

The City of Cleveland’s partnership with United Way increases the capacity of the 311 line and is part of a larger initiative to modernize City Hall. United Way looks forward to offering this continued support to Clevelanders. During his 2023 State of City address, Mayor Bibb commended United Way 211 for providing “outstanding customer service” to city residents.

This article originally appeared in Give for Good, which is published by United Way of Greater Cleveland for our friends and benefactors. For more information on our 211 services, please visit our website.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, call 211 to speak with a trained specialist who can assist in accessing local resources.

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