Twelve years ago this month, United Way launched 2-1-1 as a partnership between four health and human service agencies in the Cedar Rapids Metro Area. 2-1-1 provides information and referral services for individuals and families living in 39 counties in Eastern, Southeastern, and North Central Iowa.
What individuals call about depends on the time of year. For example, from January through April, the biggest reason people call 2-1-1 is to set up a free tax appointment at a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) or AARP tax site. People also call 2-1-1 with needs that change with the weather and the seasons.
Though there are a wide variety of ways 2-1-1 can help, here are the top 10 reasons to call:
- The 2-1-1 Center is nationally accredited by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems.
- United Way 2-1-1 is available 24/7.
- During an emergency in your community, United Way 2-1-1 will provide you with information about how you should respond. During June and July of 2008, 2-1-1 answered more than 23,000 calls from individuals and families impacted by the flood.
- When it’s cold outside and you don’t have a warm place to sleep, call United Way 2-1-1 to find where the shelters are.
- If your food stamps have been reduced and you need more food to feed your family, United Way 2-1-1 will provide resources in your area.
- Health insurance is complex and often confusing. United Way 2-1-1 can help you apply for insurance by scheduling an appointment with a Certified Application Counselor.
- When you can’t pay your rent, call 2-1-1 to find agencies that offer rent assistance.
- You just received your heating bill, and you’re afraid you won’t be able to pay it. Talk with someone from energy assistance by calling United Way 2-1-1.
- If you would like to be one of more than 5,017 individuals and families who receive free tax preparation assistance, call United Way 2-1-1 today to set up an appointment.
- Since United Way launched 2-1-1 in 2004, we have answered more than 523,000 calls. We can connect you to the resources you need.