Tuesday is February 11th, or 2/11, and a good time to highlight a little-known help number which makes a difference in the lives of millions of Americans every year.
Most of us know to call 911 if we need emergency assistance. And calling 411 brings directory assistance. But what if a person needs help but doesn’t know where to start? Call 211.
After calling 211, an individual may be asked for their zip code. Upon getting that information, trained operators will be able to pull up an extensive network of resources specific to a community. They can answer questions about what to do if a person can’t pay the rent, or needs transportation, needs to find a free meal close to home, or is having difficulty coping.
Supported by United Way, the 2-1-1 program was first launched in 1997 as a way to connect people with essential resources in their communities. The free, confidential, easy to remember phone number, website (211kansas.com) or by texting your ZIP code to 898211 connects our 10 county service area residents to essential community information and services such as healthcare, rent and mortgage assistance, food and shelter, job training, transportation, childcare, senior care, veteran services, and much more.
Every day, highly trained 2-1-1 Contact Specialists help callers access basic needs assistance, community resources and financial stability programs. Contact specialists also help callers in distress find relief when they are faced with food insecurity, homelessness, a mental health crisis or addiction. In our 10 county service area, data reveals that more than 1,300 total requests for assistance were received in 2019.
“Each and every day, someone in our 10 county service area needs essential services. Whether they need help for weather disaster or in everyday situations such as finding free tax preparation such as VITA, 2-1-1 powered by United Way helps people find important health and human services in our local community,” said Claire Mullen, Salina Area United Way Executive Director.
Do you need help paying a utilities bill, finding housing, buying food, accessing job training, navigating veterans’ services, or dealing with an emergency or crisis? Call 211 today or text your ZIP code to 898211, to speak to one a specialist. They will make sure you’ve got a plan, and put you in touch with the right resources.
Call, text, or chat. 211. Help is available in 180 languages.