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February 07, 2018

Inside 2-1-1: How One Call Can Change A Life

The phones are always buzzing on the fourth floor of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s office building on Reading Road. That’s where you’ll find United Way’s 2-1-1 specialists taking calls and connecting people across the region with a variety of critical social services when it’s needed most. 

The service is free and available to anyone by dialing 2-1-1.

Since its launch in 2003, United Way’s 2-1-1 has received more than one-million calls. Callers are connected to vital services such as sheltering fora family, counseling, rental assistance, emergency food, and much more.

Caring, compassionate, and certified United Way 2-1-1 specialists listen and work hard to identify options and direct callers to a range of community services. Knowledgeable specialists can take out the guesswork while navigating what can often be a complicated human services system.  Independent surveys show a 99 percent satisfaction rate.

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“A caller may have no idea where to turn or where to start,” said Jennifer Bieger, United Way 2-1-1 senior manager. “We are here to manage tough situations that come up in everyday life.”

A major asset of United Way 2-1-1 is specialists can  communicate with anyone, including non-English speakers, through interpretation services covering more than 150 languages. And some callers, such as human service providers, dial into United Way 2-1-1 as a tool to help others as well. 

“We’ve transformed from general information to a more holistic framework centered on providing opportunity that helps people and families thrive,” Bieger said. 

People can also connect to 2-1-1’s comprehensive online resource database via UWGC.org/211.

“No matter the need, no matter the time, 2-1-1 specialists promise to always be there on the other line, when it counts,” Beiger said. “For the many people who contact us, United Way 2-1-1 is the hope that they so desperately need.”

 

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