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Published on: February 7, 2018 | by uwdecatur
"I don’t think there’s any question that 2-1-1 is a vital community-building tool.
I have been a strong supporter of 2-1-1 since it started at my United Way in Atlanta in the 1990s. Today, I am proud that 2-1-1 is now available to almost all Americans – not to mention many communities in Canada.
What do you think of when you think of 2-1-1? Folks on the phone helping a woman with her heating bill? Someone talking a caller through a job application process? Or maybe an operator connecting a man or woman to a crisis responder.
In 2017, 2-1-1 answered more than 14.3 million requests like these for help. Almost half of those requests were for things we all need not only to survive, but to thrive—safe and stable housing, food and health.
Last year, 2-1-1 was also an important part of United Way’s response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Teams in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida, as well as 2-1-1s providing back-up nationwide, answered almost 800,000 requests for help, information, and support.
Moving forward, 2-1-1 will also help us reach our new, 10-year goals to strengthen our communities. Starting in 2018, over the next decade we’re fighting to help:
In the U.S., 2-1-1will help us accomplish these goals by providing people with a person to call when they need support finding a resource, accessing a service, or responding in a time of crisis.
2-1-1is there in times of need. It’s the entry point for vital services and helps us fund and convene thousands of community organizations. As Anna Babin, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Houston said, “2-1-1 is core to our work. Invite donors, community leaders, the media into your center and let them hear the calls firsthand. There’s nothing more life-changing.”
That’s why, on February 11, please join me in celebrating 2-1-1Day for the 21st year by learning more about and supporting your local 2-1-1."
-Story from United Way Worldwide CEO, Brian Gallagher