United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 211 Navigators Serve as Lifelines to the Community on National 211 Day and Every Day

Last year, United Way’s 211 connected more than 213,000 callers with the resources they need from COVID-19 vaccination assistance to food and shelter

Residents across Cuyahoga and Geauga counties receive 24/7 access to free confidential counsel and resources

CLEVELAND(February 11, 2022) – Today, United Way of Greater Cleveland marked National 211 Day, celebrating the organization’s 29 dedicated navigation specialists, who handed more than 213,000 calls to 211 from people in need of support and assistance across Cuyahoga and Geauga counties throughout 2021.

United Way’s 211 is a free, anonymous referral service, managing calls from those who need help accessing hundreds of resources. From basic needs such as housing support, utility assistance, and meal access to mental health, tax preparation, and employment services, United Way’s 211 is ready to help — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 211 navigators continue to serve as lifelines for those in need of support across Cuyahoga and Geauga counties,” said Ken Surratt, Chief Community Investment Officer and Vice President of Community Investment at United Way of Greater Cleveland. “On National 211 Day, United Way celebrates our incredible team of 211 professionals and the donors who support their work.”

The top five needs in 2021 for Cuyahoga County callers to United Way’s 211:

1.    Housing/Shelter

2.    Utility Assistance

3.    Health Care and Mental Health

4.    Education, Employment, and Income Support/Assistance

5.    Food

The top five needs in 2021 for Geauga County callers to United Way’s 211:

1.    Health Care and Mental Health

2.    Food

3.    Housing/Shelter

4.    Education, Employment, and Income Support/Assistance

5.    Utility Assistance


Last year, United Way’s 211 further expanded its services to open a dedicated COVID-19 Vaccination Information Line in partnership with Cuyahoga County, helping callers locate vaccination sites, confirm appointments, and secure transportation to vaccination locations more than 63,000 times.

United Way’s 211 Experience

United Way’s 211 experience is confidential, friendly, and free. People in need of assistance dial 2-1-1 to connect with a United Way 211 navigation specialist who will ask a series of questions about the caller’s circumstances. In one out of every three calls, navigation specialists will identify multiple areas of need where additional resources and assistance are provided for the caller.

United Way’s 211 navigation specialists develop customized plans tailored to the urgency of the caller’s needs, proximity to resources, physical abilities, and more using United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Community Resource Database of more than 16,000 government, health, and human services programs.  

Each year, United Way’s 211 team of dedicated database specialists make more than 100,000 unique data checks and entries to ensure the accuracy of the Community Resource Database.

Those who wish to chat online with a United Way 211 navigation specialist can also do so by visiting https://www.211oh.org/#.

Additional Resources

To access, view and download footage of United Way’s 211 navigators, click on the following links:

211 Day – Navigators – 1

211 Day – Navigators – 2

To listen to a conversation between a person in need and a 211 navigation specialist, visit www.211oh.org/how-we-help/process.

For more information on the calls that 211 answers each month and the success rates for each need, visit www.211oh.org/reports.

Media contact:

Katie Connell (404-895-5513 – m) kconnell@unitedwaycleveland.org


About United Way of Greater Cleveland: Founded in 1913, United Way of Greater Cleveland is a local, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty across the Greater Cleveland area. The largest private-sector investor of health and human services, United Way invests in efforts that address poverty using a two-pronged approach. The first prong focuses on the daily issues affecting those living in poverty, the Community Hub for Basic Needs. The second drives research and innovation through the Impact Institute, a think tank with an action plan, focused on identifying long-term solutions to break the cycle of poverty. For more information, visit unitedwaycleveland.org and twitter.com/UnitedWayCLE

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