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The United Way 211

Guest Author - Charisse Van Horn

It would be great if everyone lived a perfect life, one that was free from trouble, despair, and tragedy. However, this is not reality and the truth is that life is a journey filled with mountain top views and arduous treks through the valley lows. It is in those low times when people need the help of their fellow man, charitable organizations, and support from those who offer assistance until the days of gloom are replaced with the light of a new dawn. This is the mission of the United Way's 2-1-1 service.

The United Way 2-1-1 service offers a lifeline to those who are facing some of life's most difficult challenges. From food banks to crisis hotlines, a person who is in need can simply pick up their phone and dial the numbers 2-1-1 to be connected with their local United Way office. Once connected, an Information and Referral operator will answer your questions and point you to the resources that you need.

Though it is free to utilize the 2-1-1 service, federal funding is needed to ensure that every local community has access to 2-1-1. Your community may already be connected however there are certain areas that don't have access to this valuable resource. If you have ever been in need of help or are in need of help now, call 2-1-1 and see if your community is already connected. If your community is connected, simply tell the operator the nature of your problem and he or she will give you the referral information that you need. However, if you call 2-1-1 and discover that your community is not connected, then consider calling 1-888-PASS211. This will connect you to resources needed to ensure that congress passes the 2-1-1 law so that every community will have this important resource.

Currently, forty-one states and Washington D.C. have implemented 2-1-1. Additionally, every community and local chapter of 2-1-1 offers varying services, but the focus of 2-1-1 is the same. They offer information and referrals for the following needs free of charge:
  • Rental Assistance

  • Food Banks

  • Help with Utilities

  • Help with Clothing

  • Help with Shelter

  • Counseling

  • Crisis Intervention

  • Suicide Intervention

  • Drug and Alcohol Counseling and Resources

  • Help for those who have no Health Insurance

  • Help for those who need Medical Assistance

  • Support Groups

  • Senior Assistance

  • Employment Assistance

  • Assistance for the Disabled

  • Help with Childcare

  • Car Seat Referrals

  • After School Child Care

  • Head Start

  • Domestic Violence

  • After School Care

  • Maternity and Prenatal Services

  • Financial Assistance

  • Disaster Assistance


As you can see from the above list, the 2-1-1 service provides a wealth of information. If you have a question or need that concerns a topic not listed above, by all means do not hesitate to call. The 2-1-1 service exists to answer your questions and help you find the resources that you need to make it through the difficult times.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Charisse Van Horn. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Charisse Van Horn. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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