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News & Press: HR News

2-1-1 is Here to Help Employees

Thursday, January 18, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Admin
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Caring for an elderly parent. Seeking tax preparation services. Struggling to pay bills. The employees you work with have many needs, and at times, situations that can turn into crisis. United Way of Central Iowa’s 2-1-1 is available to help any time.

Just like calling 9-1-1 in an emergency, 2-1-1 is a three-digit helpline that connects callers with support and resources right here in central Iowa. A skilled professional is trained to assess callers’ needs, determine options and best courses of action, direct callers to appropriate programs and services, and advocate for callers’ needs as needed. This service is free, confidential, and available 24/7.

Help us share this service with anyone who may need support!

We are willing to speak with your organization or group and we have materials you can share. Visit www.unitedwaydm.org/2-1-1 or email Melissa McCoy, 211 director, at m.mccoy@unitedwaydm.org

Here’s what you should know about 2-1-1 in central Iowa:

We are local and we know our community.

United Way of Central Iowa operates the 2-1-1 helpline that covers 15 counties, and is one of five call centers that cover Iowa. We actively update and maintain a database of 4,211 central Iowa resources (12,364 resources statewide) and we work with many health and human services partners to enhance our services and address gaps in services.  2-1-1 is available just about anywhere nationwide.

We can help callers with many kinds of needs

Last year, the top caller needs were for tax preparation assistance, rent payment assistance, holiday programs, family crisis shelters, and utility service payment assistance. We can help with much more, including food pantries, health and mental health services, child care programs, elderly care services, disability services, and even volunteer opportunities – any issue that relates to an individual’s well-being. Also in times of disaster, 2-1-1 is the source for accurate and timely information.  

We can support our callers in many ways

Calling 2-1-1 is free from a landline and for most cell phone carriers. A language line provides interpretation services in 170-plus languages.  Our goal is to listen, understand the situation, and support in as many ways as possible. We will ask a caller a couple of questions at the start, including their ZIP code, but the information shared is always confidential.

We are held to a high standard of support

Central Iowa 2-1-1 belongs to the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, which provides a high standard of training and accountability in our work. Statewide, 2-1-1 call centers made 82,130 referrals to services and had 34,403 visits to the 211Iowa.org website. We are actively working to increase the number of people we support – and it starts with making sure everyone is aware of this helpline.

We offer many options to connect

2-1-1 can be accessed in many ways. In addition to calling, connect with 2-1-1 at www.211iowa.org or by texting your ZIP code to 898211. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/211 for updates on local services.