On February 11th United Way of Lee County will celebrate National 2-1-1 Day, in recognition of the free, user-friendly phone number that connects people to critical resources, information and services. This day is designed to bring awareness to the 24/7, easy to remember number that can link callers with human services and resources available in their community.
What happens when you call 2-1-1? The call is routed to the local 2-1-1 Center. It's answered by a trained information and referral specialist, who discerns your needs, then searches a comprehensive database of relevant human service referrals. The 2-1-1 specialist explains how to access those services. In the case of an employee who has recently been laid off or whose hours have been reduced, the 2-1-1 specialist may share information about unemployment benefits, job search options, food stamps, food pantries, mortgage or rent help, utility assistance, counseling and other available resources.
In Lee, Russell, & Chambers counties 7,538 referrals were given to people who turned to 2-1-1 for help in 2019. People who called were given referrals for things such as heating or utility assistance, emergency help, or to find the closest food pantry. They also called for everyday information, like finding out where to take their child for developmental screenings, how to locate job training or to find free tax filing support, affordable housing options, support groups and volunteer opportunities. After a disaster, people call 2-1-1 to search out water, food, shelter and disaster aid.
Help United Way of Lee County spread the word that 2-1-1 is available for those in need on February 11
and every other day of year!