United Way 2-1-1 celebrates 15 years of impact across Southeastern Michigan

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

On Feb. 11, 2020, United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 2-1-1 helpline celebrates 15 years of impacting those in need across Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. The resource and information referral system has been and continues to be an integral part of helping those in need in Southeastern Michigan. The service offers resources, hope and help to millions of people in our region.?February is also designated as 2-1-1 awareness month. The goal is to share this resource with as many people across the community as possible.  

2-1-1 is a national dialing code for confidential, free, 24-hour access to health and human services, like housing, shelter, food, legal aid, clothing, counseling, utility assistance, health care, transportation and much more. Professionally trained representatives help identify needs and help direct people to agencies or programs specifically designed to best get them the help they need. 

“People contact 2-1-1 for many different reasons. On a typical day, more than 500 people call for some type of assistance. Last year alone, more than 115,000 people dialed 2-1-1 in our area,” says Tonya Adair, chief impact officer for United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We know from our research that about 44 percent of people struggle just to make ends meet.”  

Among the top requests into 2-1-1 in our area are for housing, utility assistance and food. While the unemployment rate may be down nationally, United Way’s ALICE (Asset?Limited,?Income?Constrained,?Employed) Report found more than 681,000 Southeastern Michigan households are struggling and need some assistance. Of those households, more than 161,000 have also have children. 

Adair added, “As an organization, we see the impact of?what is happening across our community and we want to do all we can to help families have stable households, where children can thrive.? That is where 2-1-1 comes in. Whether it is an unexpected life change, a temporary need to feed a family, or other challenge, 2-1-1 is a trusted resource for anyone that needs help.”? 

2-1-1 can be accessed by phone or computer. A toll-free call to connects individuals and families to a community resource specialist who can put them in touch with local organizations providing critical services timprove—and save—lives. 

Through United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline, you can find information about:? 

  • Supplemental food and nutrition programs 
  • Child care 
  • Shelter and housing options and utilities assistance 
  • Emergency information and disaster relief 
  • Employment and education opportunities 
  • Services for veterans 
  • Health care, vaccination and health epidemic information 
  • Addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs 
  • Reentry help for ex-offenders 
  • Support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs 
  • A safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic abuse

To learn more about United Way, 2-1-1, and efforts to help those in need, visit their website at UnitedWaySEM.org/support211. To give, text “HOPE” to 50503. 

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About United Way for Southeastern Michigan 

United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a member of the United Way Worldwide network and an independently governed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, works to ensure families can meet their basic needs, children are ready for school and that people are equipped with skills to build a better life. For more than 100 years, United Way has been a leader in creating positive, measurable and permanent change in communities it serves throughout southeast Michigan, working in partnership with donors, agency, corporate and municipal partners. To give, advocate, volunteer or learn more, visit UnitedWaySEM.org.