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2-1-1 helped Cynthia and her family

You never know when you will be in need of a helping hand. When Cynthia needed help, she picked up the phone and dialed Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1, a free and confidential community referral service that connects callers with resources and community assistance. Cynthia has called 2-1-1 in the past for bill assistance and food bank information but emphasized she only calls when it is an emergency situation. When asked why she continues to call 2-1-1, she simply replied, “Someone always answers.”

Having recently moved from Texas to Denver, the transition wasn’t going as smoothly as her family had hoped. Cynthia was job searching and her husband recently started a new job, but most of their money was being saved for a down payment on a house, which left them with little to no disposable income. As the school year rapidly approached, school supplies for her children weren’t at the top of the list. “Money was tight,” Cynthia recalled, “buying school supplies was put off, and the school year came up quickly.”

With school already in session for two weeks, Cynthia called 2-1-1 and she was referred to The Action Center in Jefferson County, but was unable to afford transportation to get there. Instead, the 2-1-1 specialist found the nearest churches to Cynthia and suggested she see if they would be able to help. Cynthia walked over to the closest suggested church, which fortunately had just received some donations of children’s school supplies a few days prior. Through the church, she was able to get everything she needed for her children’s school year. 

Although the church is not an affiliated partner of Mile High United Way, our 2-1-1 specialist was still able to suggest a viable solution for Cynthia, exemplifying our collective approach to solve community-wide problems. Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 aims to provide individuals and families the building blocks they need for a good quality of life. Last month, more than 7,500 people called 2-1-1 to find or give help, with utility bill assistance being the greatest need.

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