Most of the time when people need help they call 911; however, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, it’s time to remember there’s another number they can call for another kind of help.
The 11th day of the second month is national “211 Day.” Locally, the United Way of Greensboro participates by attempting to let people know how easy it is for those in need to get connected to critical community services.
By simply dialing 211, anyone who needs help can be connected to multiple support services. Operators are ready to help at any hour of the day or night, 365 days a year – and even for 366 days during Leap Years like this one.
The service is free, confidential and available in most languages.
Those with needs can also find available resources by visiting www.NC211.org.
In the last calendar year, 211 took 4,363 calls from residents in Greensboro and the surrounding areas. Those calls came from individuals and families that had difficulty with things like finding a place to live or paying for health care.
According to a Tuesday, Feb. 11 press release meant to raise public awareness of the help line, of the 4,363 calls received from residents in the greater Greensboro area, housing and shelter, utilities, health care, employment and income and food were the top requests. Other requests included those for mental health care and help with addiction issues, clothing and household needs, childcare and parenting needs. The 211 line also got requests for help with legal and public safety services, as well as transportation and education.
The release noted the following example.
“Aaron is a single father with three little girls,” it stated. “After falling on hard times and going from two household incomes to one, he called his children’s school social worker for help. The school social worker connected Aaron with United Way’s 211 service to identify some resources that might help get him back on his feet. Things were looking up for his family until Aaron lost his job. Aaron was able to find a new job within a month, but had fallen behind once again with bills piling up and debt building.”
After receiving an eviction notice for the day before Thanksgiving, the story continues, Aaron called the 211 line again, and, when it turned out that the only thing standing between Aaron and his three little girls being homeless on Thanksgiving was $132, the 211 team went into action. They spoke with the school’s social worker, the landlord, and with Aaron and, within hours, a promissory note was sent to the landlord and the eviction was stopped.
According to the press release, “Aaron could not have been more grateful, repeatedly saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you. You don’t know what this means.’ Aaron and his three little girls were together, at home for Thanksgiving.”