How 211 Helped Carla Access Financial Resources

After a COVID diagnosis, Carla was unable to continue at her hospital job. 211 answered the call and helped with rent and utilities.
March 3, 2022
Carla King of Madisonville, Ohio called 211 when she needed help paying rent and utilities after her COVID-19 diagnosis

CINCINNATI, Ohio (March 3, 2022) — Carla, a 58-year-old Madisonville resident, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in February 2021. Unable to continue working at her hospital job, she needed help paying her rent and utility bills.  

She dialed 211, the United Way helpline. She spoke to a call specialist who is trained to listen as people describe their needs, and then refer them to appropriate community resources. “He was really patient with me because I was kind of in shambles,” Carla says. 

The call specialist determined that Carla would best be served by contacting Hamilton County Job & Family Services and applying for assistance. Carla, however, is not computer savvy, and she expressed concern that she would have trouble submitting online applications and documentation. The call specialist said that if Carla could not find a trusted person to help her, he would do his best to walk her through it. 

In the weeks that followed, Carla spoke to the same call specialist multiple times. “He went over and beyond,” Carla says. “He reached out to me to make sure JFS followed up with me. Each day he would check on me, my progress, and he told me not to give up.”  

She didn’t give up. She worked with JFS, which tapped federal funding to pay her rent and utilities for several months. She recovered from COVID. And she returned to work, ready to put a difficult period of her life behind her. 

She also called 211 one more time with a message for the call specialist who helped her: Thank you. 

Learn more about our 211 Helpline at

United Way of Greater Cincinnati is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization [Tax ID: 31-0537502]. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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