Saturday, Feb. 11, was National 2-1-1 Day, celebrating the go-to resource, which people in communities across the country can access resources for immediate or long-term challenges. United Way of Grundy County is happy to provide this valuable resource for residents in our communities since its launch in August 2021.
Grundy County 2-1-1 is a free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that connects individuals with health and human services including housing, shelter, food, utilities, healthcare, mental health, employment, education, child care, disability services, seniors, veterans, government, legal, transportation, disaster, crisis intervention and so much more.
Anyone in need of help or information can dial 2-1-1 to reach a trained call center specialist. In addition, individuals may text their zip code to 211TXT and then the service they are seeking, or by searching online at findhelp211.org.
Last year, Grundy County 2-1-1 helped connect more than 500 callers with local programs and services. Nearly 35% of the callers were seeking housing or shelter, 20% of the calls were mental health-related, 10% were for utility assistance, 7% for healthcare services, 6% for transportation, 5% for legal assistance, and 17% of the callers were seeking assistance with food, clothing, child care and general information.
In the late 1990s, following United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta’s launch of 2-1-1 in 1997, United Way of Illinois began working with the Illinois Alliance of Information and Referral Systems to bring 2-1-1 to the state. Legislation was passed in 2003 and the 2-1-1 Collaboration Board was created to guide the state’s pilot program. In 2009, Gov. Quinn signed the 2-1-1 Service Act into law, and in 2010, 2-1-1 Illinois was selected as the lead, nonprofit organization to work with the Department of Human Services to plan and implement 2-1-1 across Illinois. Today, nearly all counties in Illinois provide or are provided the 2-1-1 service for their communities, including a few recent new launches in our neighboring counties and several counties in the implementation phase.
If you or anyone you know needs help, call 2-1-1, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to speak with a live call center specialist and get connected to the services available in our community.
United Way of Grundy County annually supports vital programs and services that address: basic human needs, health, education, income stability, mental health services, homeless prevention, crisis intervention, domestic violence programs, disability services, transportation, and disaster relief for youth, individuals, families, seniors and veterans.
For more information contact the United Way of Grundy County at 815-942-4430, visit their website at UWGrundy.org, or find them on Facebook.
- Karen Nall is the Executive Director for the United Way of Grundy County. Community Pulse is a weekly column that provides a dedicated space for Grundy County-area nonprofits, schools, and organizations to share news and information about their organization.