Everyone knows about 911. But few people know about 211, the service that helps people with non-emergency life challenges—the kind everyone faces at some point in their lives, when you have no idea where to turn but sure could use some extra help. United Way's 211 Helpline answers thousands of calls every day.
Here are 5 things you might not know about 211:
1. We can help with complex challenges, whatever they may be. 211 connects people to resources like:
- Employment and job training
- Health and mental health assistance
- Childcare and after-school programs
- Financial coaching
- Addiction treatment
- Affordable housing and rent assistance
- Legal services
- Disaster recovery
- Utility assistance
- Disability resources
- Veteran services
- Tax preparation
2. 211 is for anyone. Everyone faces challenges. Job loss, illness, natural disasters, and other events can upend anyone’s life. In those moments, 211 is a good resource to have in your back pocket. Best of all, the service is available to everyone, regardless of income level. Spread the word to your friends, family, and co-workers so they are prepared when things take a turn for the worse.
3. 211 is available 24/7/365. That’s every day, every hour, every minute of the year. And if you don’t feel like calling, you can text or use the website. Check 211.org to find your local texting number and website.
4. You’ll talk to a real person. A trained, expert specialist answers the call, helps identify the root causes of your problem, and connects you to local resources.
5. You can call to find volunteer opportunities in your area. The holidays are an especially good time to check, as 211 often has a long list of local organizations and families that need help.