February 11 is National 2-1-1 Day
Kendra Wheeler, media relations manager
Cleveland (February 10, 2017) February 11 (2/11) is national 2-1-1 Day in recognition of the free, confidential and easy to remember phone number that connects people to essential social service assessment, information and service navigation 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
“Today is a day to celebrate United Way 2-1-1 and the help provided to those in need,” said United Way President and CEO August Napoli. “United Way 2-1-1 community resource specialists help contacts identify, understand and access community programs and services for employment; food, housing and utilities, counseling, legal, veterans and more via chat, email and in-person assistance.”
United Way 2-1-1 is a free and confidential 24/7 service. In 2016, United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 2-1-1 help center addressed nearly 280,000 inquiries, up from 250,000 in 2015. The top requests continue to be for housing, food and utility assistance.
United Way 2-1-1 community resource specialists are uniquely trained. They often dig beyond the callers’ initial inquiry to uncover underlying issues and offer additional resources. The specialists use a robust database of more than 4000 service providers. The database is continually refreshed and updated to provide the most accurate referral matching the clients’ needs.
“Anyone can call 2-1-1 or chat with us online and we’ll help them develop a plan to utilize community resources in their most critical time of need,” said United Way 2-1-1 Director Diane Gatto. “For instance, someone may call in need of housing, but not have the income to afford a place to stay. We’ll discuss housing options with them, but also other services such as job placement assistance, food and health care. We listen, provide support and give them the confidence needed to take the next step when seeking help. ”
United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 2-1-1 help center services Cuyahoga and 25 additional Ohio counties. United Way 2-1-1 dedicates a community resource content specialist to each community to understand the unique needs and services in each area. Community resource specialists are available by phone or online at 211oh.org via chat. Outside of the local coverage area, United Way 2-1-1 is available to 93 percent of the United States.