The increased cost of living in Metro Denver is forcing families to make difficult decisions – diapers or day care? Mortgage or medicine? An unexpected expense of $400 or more can move a hard-working family from self-sufficiency to a financial emergency.
When Lisa*, a single mother of three, was unexpectedly forced to move out of her home with only two-week’s notice, the little savings she had was quickly spent on a hotel room to keep her family safe and off the streets. Embarrassed by the situation, she told her kids they were on vacation.
“How do you tell your children they are homeless?” said Lisa. In Colorado, 13% or nearly 166,000 children are living in poverty.
Not knowing where to turn, she called Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center in tears. She feared her children would be taken away. She was dealing with a disability that limited her ability to work for long periods of time. She worked hard, but with the rising costs of housing in Metro Denver, finding an affordable place was a challenge. All she wanted was to make sure her family and service dog were safe.
“I don’t know a whole lot about getting help. Now I just really need help and I don’t know how to ask,” said Lisa.
To Lisa, calling 2-1-1 felt like her last hope. After 20 minutes on the phone with a compassionate 2-1-1 resource navigator, she was connected to resources to help with both short-term and long-term housing, as well as an organization specializing in supporting people with disabilities. Because Lisa had the courage to call 2-1-1, she got the resources and encouragement she needed to get back on her feet and provide stability for her family.
Each year, Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center receives nearly 80,000 calls from people with unique challenges ranging from struggling to care for an aging parent or finding quality childcare to needing mental health services or job training. No matter the reason for the call, 2-1-1 is there to help.
When you give to Mile High United Way, you help create economic opportunity for everyone in Metro Denver. When people are able to find a job, provide for their families, and save for the future — and not be $400 away from financial crisis – everyone wins. That’s why, with your support, we’re fighting to ensure that people have their basic needs met and have opportunities to move toward economic success.