Proclamation brings spotlight to service

Lake County celebrates United Way’s 211 Helpline on National 211 Day

GURNEE -- On Feb. 11, United Way of Lake County joined United Ways and 211 contact centers across the country in celebrating National “211 Day” and bringing awareness of this critical service.

Day and night, the team at 211 talks to people who are experiencing hardship, feeling concerned about a family member, or simply need help finding resources in their area. Throughout the pandemic, they have served as essential workers, answering calls around the clock and helping more people than ever before.

In special recognition of Lake County’s 211, the Lake County Board proclaimed Feb. 11, 2022, as “211 Day” in Lake County.

211, led by United Way of Lake County, is a free, confidential, one-stop resource that connects those in need to people that can help. Since its launch in 2019, 211 has made more than 125,000 connections from every ZIP code in Lake County mostly for help with housing and shelter, rent and utility assistance, food, mental health and addictions, and health care, including more than 20,000 calls and texts, and more than 105,000 website sessions.

Through 211, anyone needing help in Lake County can connect to available resources 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by phone, text and online regardless of the language they speak or where they live. 211 provides multilingual support with English and Spanish speaking staff, as well as interprets to more than 150 languages.

To access 211, simply call 211 or text your ZIP code to 898211. The service does more than patch people through to agencies. 211′s expert navigators are trained specialists who will listen, identify underlying root causes, and guide people to the best available resources.

211 team members have compassionately answered more than double the number of calls with more complex needs since the pandemic began. Rent payment assistance continues to be the No. 1 need requested and 211 has played a key role in guiding people to available resources. 

Lake County is the largest county in Illinois to make 211 available to its community members and is leading the way as a model to bring 211 services to all Illinois communities. Today, 211 serves more than 95% of America’s population.

“We are grateful to Lake County government for their partnership and generous support of our 211 service, as well as the many partners and individuals who contribute to make 211 a reality for our community,” said Kristi Long, president and CEO of United Way of Lake County. “211 Day is a wonderful opportunity to continue to raise awareness of this vital service to improve and save lives here in Lake County.”

For more information about United Way of Lake County’s 211, visit 211LakeCounty.org.