DETROIT — Each year, more than 250,000 residents call into United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 2-1-1 call center for help. During extreme weather, call volume can increase as much as 24 percent. Advocates are available any time, day or night, every day of the year, keeping pace with the needs of the public. Conversely, the organization’s 2-1-1 system has lagged when it comes to technology, until now. Roush Industries has signed on as innovation sponsor for United Way’s 2-1-1 call center. The community will benefit from much-needed technological enhancements that will improve the system’s speed and quality as part of a $300,000 investment over three years.
Funds from the Roush sponsorship will increase 2-1-1 capacity and facilitate process improvements that will elevate the overall caller experience. The investment will also enhance the integration of key program providers to help create one system of care for improved customer support.
“It is a tremendous honor for Roush to be part of this initiative. Integrating technology is a big part of what we do at Roush,” said CEO Evan Lyall. “To be given the opportunity to apply technology in such a meaningful way, enhancing the critical work done through the 2-1-1 call center, is very rewarding.”
Since December 2005, United Way’s 2-1-1 call center has connected families to social service supports tailored to their needs. Six counties including Lapeer, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne are serviced by the organization’s call center advocates, who access more than 12,000 programs and services which are referred to callers. In addition to contacting advocates via phone, residents may connect by email or chat via United Way’s website. Among the top needs requested by callers among the six counties are utilities, such as gas, electric and water, food and housing assistance.
“Years of interactions between the public and 2-1-1 call center agents have taught us there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to connecting individuals to resources meeting their needs,” says Dr. Darienne Driver Hudson, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “This investment by Roush is imperative toward improving our 2-1-1 system to offer quality, wholistic, person-centered care each time we answer the call.”
For more information about United Way for Southeastern Michigan, visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.
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About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways, in partnership with more than 700 agency partners. United Way is a leader in convening entities including business, labor, and government toward achieving positive outcomes for individuals and families around its Basic Needs & Health; Education; and Economic Prosperity strategies. The organization engages the community in its work via volunteerism and advocacy efforts, and its annual campaign. For more information visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.