Colorado United Ways Celebrate National 2-1-1 Day
Our 2-1-1 Contact Center is on the front lines for helping people in our community find services and resources. When Cynthia needed help finding school supplies for her kids, when George and his family needed food and utility assistance and when Christine was ill and needed rent assistance – 2-1-1 answered the call and located resources to answer each need.
Today, on 2/11, the Colorado United Way network celebrates “National 2-1-1 Day” in recognition of the free, confidential, easy-to-remember phone number that connects Colorado residents to essential, non-emergency community information and services such as healthcare, rent and mortgage assistance, food and shelter, job training, transportation, childcare, senior care, veteran services and much more.
The first 2-1-1 in Colorado launched in 2003, and last year the six 2-1-1 contact centers across the state received 160,000 contacts through phone calls, in-person visits and emails and another 45,000 online database searches. During times of disaster, 2-1-1 also plays a critical role in emergency relief and recovery. In September 2013, Colorado 2-1-1 was activated to help communication efforts for the floods, and received 6,000 calls for information, assistance, and inquiries about how to volunteer or donate.
“Not only is 2-1-1 an essential asset for community members, but it is also our ear on the ground, giving us a pulse on the most urgent needs of our community,” said Stephanie Sanchez, Mile High United Way’s Statewide 2-1-1 Director. “Currently, requests for food and shelter are the most common across the state.”
Mile High United Way 2-1-1 received nearly 100,000 calls in 2014 and over 1.25 million calls since 2003. Community members seeking assistance can also access information 24/7 through the Colorado2-1-1 app, available for free for Apple and Android devices and through the 211 Colorado online database. And, with the opening of the CenturyLink Mile High United Way 2-1-1 Information and Referral contact center last September, the number of walk-in clients is increasing.
In honor of National 2-1-1 Day, Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks and Vernon Irvin, CenturyLink's VP of Enterprise Sales, joined us at the CenturyLink Mile High United Way 2-1-1 contact center – located in the new Mile High United Way Morgridge Center for Community Change - to hear incoming calls from the community first-hand.