United Way Encourages Everyone to Celebrate ‘2-1-1’ Day
For the City Times
At 2-1-1 call centers all across the nation, people are celebrating 2-1-1 as a community resource on Saturday, Feb. 11.
In Wisconsin Rapids, Mayor Zach Vruwink has officially proclaimed February 11, 2017 “2-1-1 Day” as well. 2-1-1 is an information and referral program that maintains a database of community resources and connects callers with questions to the proper services or organizations to meet their information needs.
It is a number you can dial (2-1-1) to receive information about community services. It is especially helpful to callers who have a “spectrum” of needs due to an emergency, such as loss of job or health issues.
“Callers are able to make just one phone call and get all the information they need, and speak to a caring resource specialist,” said Amy Fluno, 2-1-1 Program Director. “The service is available 24/7; it’s free and it’s confidential.”
In Wood County, 2-1-1 is a partnership between United Way of Inner Wisconsin and Marshfield Area United Way; and covers 14 counties from Ashland County to Juneau County.
You can celebrate 2-1-1 on Feb. 11 in a number of different ways:
- Learn more about 2-1-1. Visit our website at www.uwiw.org/2-1-1. You can also sign up for our e-newsletter and visit our 2-1-1 blog and online database of services.
- Advocate for a friend or relative who is having a difficult time. Call the 2-1-1 Call Center and ask about community resources that can help.
- If you are a government or non-profit agency, you can have your programs listed in our database; and/or distribute our FREE materials, including fact cards, posters and pens.
In addition to connecting callers to local resources, 2-1-1 also tracks caller needs and uses that information to analyze trends, such as identifying gaps in services. This information can be used to help make program funding decisions.
In 2016, our call center answered 3,866 (which is up from 3,644 calls in 2015). The top five needs were:
- Rent Payment Assistance
- Food Pantry Information
- Electric Service Payment Assistance
- Low Income Housing
- Gas Money