United Way of Lake County’s 211 helps those affected by parade shooting find resources

Service hopes to be one-stop shop for finding help after crises

GURNEE – The Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting is estimated to have directly impacted more than 5,000 Lake County community members.

Community members, victims and their families recovering from this traumatic event are urged to contact 211 to find the latest resources available to them, including mental health services, grief counseling, financial assistance, lost and found information, blood drive information, verified donation fundraisers and other resources.

211 is Lake County’s one-stop shop for finding help. Trained, experienced specialists guide individuals and families to understand and navigate the many services and assistance available.

211 is free, confidential, 24/7 and multilingual, with English and Spanish-speaking staff and assistance to other languages via interpreters in 150 languages. To access 211, dial 2-1-1 or text your ZIP code to 898211. Residents outside of Lake County who have been affected by the mass shooting can call 1-855-677-5253.

When disaster strikes a community, resources and information are broadcast across multiple websites and social media platforms. 211 serves to centralize and verify resources for victims, their families, community members and neighbors who wish to help. Visit 211LakeCounty.org under Hot Topics for a link to resources specific to this event.

United Way of Lake County’s 211 is collecting information about verified fundraisers and donation needs for victims and their families. Before bringing in-kind donations of goods to crisis centers, visit 211LakeCounty.org or contact 211 to determine what items are needed. Social media posts are often unchecked and not removed after crisis centers have met the needs of the victims with donations. Monetary donations are encouraged as they are best used for the immediate and ongoing needs of the victims as they recover from their losses.

“In a crisis, in a pandemic, in a disaster, 211 is here to help anyone in our community find help from verified sources,” said Deanna Olmem, manager of 211 Lake County. “Our 211 team has been actively responding to this tragedy to ensure those affected get the support they need. 211LakeCounty.org provides real-time updates so that people have easy access to critical information and emerging resources in one place.”

Mental health professionals and clinicians who would like to offer services to Highland Park parade victims are encouraged to fill out the survey on 211LakeCounty.org under Hot Topics to be included on the website.