Every now and then, life throws us a curveball that stops us in our tracks. Some of us grapple with paying our bills on time, for example, while others are facing eviction and don’t know where to turn.
Whether you’re searching for information, or a resource for someone in the community, chances are that dialing 2-1-1 can solve your problem for free. Every day across North America, thousands of people call, text, and web chat with highly trained specialists at 2-1-1 to find food, housing, health care, financial coaching, job training and more. This vital service is part of United Way’s effort to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person, in every community.
“No matter the need, no matter the time, 2-1-1 specialists promise to always be there on the other line, when it counts,” said Jennifer Bieger, United Way of Greater Cincinnati 2-1-1 senior manager. “For the many people who contact us, United Way 2-1-1 is the hope that they so desperately need.”
People can also connect to 2-1-1’s comprehensive online resource database via UWGC.org/211.
Here are five ways that 2-1-1 could help you, too:
1. Filing your taxes, for free.
Depending on your income level, 2-1-1 can help connect you with an easy way to file your taxes for free, in person or online.
2. Making sure your new child is growing developmentally.
There is so much information out there about the early stages of child development that it can be hard to understand. 2-1-1 specialists can connect you to someone who can help, and in many communities actually offer developmental screenings by phone themselves.
3. Getting a new job.
Whether you’re looking to re-enter the workforce, upgrade your job or find a new career, contact 2-1-1 and ask about resume review services, employment opportunities, and training programs near you.
4. Saving the life of your injured pet.
Unexpected medical costs aren’t just for people, they can happen for an injured or sick pet, too. Your local 2-1-1 may be able to help find a nonprofit with emergency assistance funds or a vet clinic that offers low cost services for limited income households so you can get your furry friend the treatment they need.
5. Finding support.
If you, a friend, or a loved one is looking for a therapist, addiction treatment resource, or support group, don’t spend hours searching online or simply avoiding finding help. 2-1-1s maintain a robust list of resources in your community, including free services, so you can skip the frustration and headache.
This story was originally published by United Way Worldwide here.