Know When to Call
Christine suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and before getting connected to Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1, she had only the support of her husband and daughter. Due to her illness, she cannot stand or walk for long periods of time, leaving her unable to find steady employment. Despite this, she does not receive disability benefits because they can't afford the gas to get to the office, which is far from where she lives. The use of the car is mostly allotted to her daughter’s part-time job and her husband’s job-seeking efforts.
With eviction looming ever closer and her husband’s unemployment benefits coming to an end, Christine knew it was time to call for help. Having found out about Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), she was able to find a solution through one of their trained referral specialists. 2-1-1 put her in touch with Catholic Charities and Community Services, which, among other services, provides support to low income families. Christine received $1,350 from Catholic Charities – enough for one month’s rent and some peace of mind. “It really was my only hope. We would have been out on the streets.”
Having recently qualified for Medicaid, Christine now has access to a primary doctor, who helps her deal with her COPD. “I’m really trying to get healthy,” she says brightly. “I wanna get better so I can help my family.” Though her husband has not yet found a job, Christine remains hopeful and is working steadily on improving her health. 2-1-1 has also directed her to several food banks, including Food Bank of the Rockies, to help ease her family’s transition after losing their main source of income.
Christine’s struggles ring true for many others. Last month, over 8,000 people called 2-1-1 seeking help for issues varying from rent assistance to transportation to childcare and so much more.
Mile High United Way and the 2-1-1 service are invaluable to the community. People are often unsure of which resource is best suited for them or are unaware of the resources available, and 2-1-1, with its knowledgeable specialists, helps to point them in the right direction. It brings together thousands of organizations that work together to serve a larger community than they may have reached on their own.