2-1-1’s Biggest Fan: Ms. Donnielle Love

Published on February 12, 2024 in

In 2014, I was on disability and working part-time at a grocery store to make ends meet. The problem is the ends weren’t meeting. I remember someone told me to call 2-1-1, but I didn’t know what I would even call to say. One particular day, my daughter didn’t have enough to eat. I made the gut-wrenching decision to call her teacher to tell her why my daughter may appear hungry in class.

After school, the teacher called me back to let me know they were sending us a variety of items from Hungry Howie’s— that filled our bellies. To my surprise, the teacher also gave me the number to 2-1-1 and I finally decided to make a phone call that changed our lives.

During the initial call, I was connected to a variety of resources. The care advocate got me thinking about other job opportunities that would allow me to sit, including working with the local school district. I applied and got a job at the Jr. High, which eventually led me to my current role, working in the Media Center at United Oaks Elementary School. When it comes to employment, nothing’s perfect, but this is perfect for me and I’m here because the 2-1-1 cared enough to ask me about my next steps— something no one had ever done before.

2-1-1 is also the reason my daughter and I have stable housing. The coordinator asked me if I was signed up for subsidized housing. I hadn’t but we were living with my mom and decided to give it a try. The waiting list was seven years, which sounds like forever, but it worked! After six years and two months, I moved into a place that’s capped at 30% of my income.

Over the years I’ve called 2-1-1 for utility assistance and plenty of other things. One time, when I had a light and gas bill that I needed paid, the coordinator rushed everything so I wouldn’t lose my lights. They call me Ms. Love, but it’s 2-1-1 that’s really showing love to the entire community.

My life is an entire 2-1-1 supported story and I refer other people to 2-1-1 all the time. I always say I should get a 2-1-1 shirt to tell the world that they are the best when it comes to resources— hands down. I tell everybody, don’t call me, call 2-1-1.