United Way and Its 2-1-1 Service

Help Via Text Messages
Posted on 06/21/2019
Image of United Way of Summit County Logo(from Akron.com)

Summit County residents in need of help can now receive information and referrals from United Way of Summit County’s (UWSC) 2-1-1 service via text.

The national program of United Way, 2-1-1 helps people find local resources when they don’t know where to turn for help, UWSC officials explained. In 2018, the service answered 70,703 calls from local residents.

Officials stated the program helps advance United Way’s Bold Goals by 2025 — to boost third-grade reading, high school graduation, and college and career readiness rates among Akron Public Schools students; financially empower thousands of working families; and reduce emergency room visits due to drug overdoses by ensuring that their basic needs are met.

Officials said that residents can text their ZIP code to 898-211 to be connected to a trained 2-1-1 operator who can provide referrals to hundreds of available support services — from rapid rehousing to utility assistance to free financial coaching.

The text service is free, confidential and available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Assistance via phone continues to be available by dialing 2-1-1 at any time for assistance.

In addition to answering calls and text messages, 2-1-1 operates 211summit.org, an extensive directory of more than 10,000 supportive agencies and services available to Summit County residents. Last year, 127,073 searches were conducted through the database, and last month, UWSC launched a newly revamped resource directory, making it easier for visitors to find services like free tax preparation, nutrition assistance and more, according to UWSC officials.

“2-1-1 is central to the mission of United Way,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of UWSC. “2-1-1 serves everyone, and when children are healthy and fed, they do better in school. When families have access to supportive services, they are better prepared to build financial stability and overcome crises like addiction. The investments we are making to grow and improve our 2-1-1 service are an investment in the health and future success of our entire community.”
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