Making the Right Call
Today, Barbara and her son are still living in the house they’ve called home for many years after receiving a multitude of essential home improvements they couldn’t afford on their own.
As an elderly woman with a handicapped son, Barbara knew her home was unsafe but didn’t know where to get help. But, her friend Rhonda did. She called Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1, a free and confidential community referral service, which connected her with the resources needed to secure Barbara a new roof, door, water heater and windows. “I believe she would be in a nursing home or assisted living with her son right now if I had not called 2-1-1,” Rhonda recalls.
Rhonda, a Denver resident and great-great-grandmother, frequently makes calls on behalf of others who need assistance. Her first call is always to 2-1-1, because she says, “It is a great resource. Every time I call, they’ve always been able to provide help and give me the right information.” She has even called 2-1-1 for herself and received a full dental cleaning and X-rays at the University of Colorado’s School of Dental Medicine in Denver, a service she otherwise couldn’t afford on her own.
Rhonda is not sure how many times she has called 2-1-1, or for how many people, but believes in leveraging community resources to help others. She regularly refers people to 2-1-1, saying “Just call them, they’ll help ya!”
Mile High United Way believes that all families and individuals, like Barbara and Rhonda, should have the opportunity to be self-sufficient. Last year over 114,000 people called 2-1-1 for help with vital services such as rent, food, shelter, disaster recovery assistance and more. Mile High United Way partners with around 1,500 agencies to provide information on more than 4,500 services in the Denver Metro area through 2-1-1.