United Way celebrates third anniversary of 2-1-1 service in Chattahoochee Valley

Special to the Ledger-Enquirer\Darrell Roaden

Today is significant for United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley as it celebrates three years since the 2-1-1 service was restarted in the community.

2-1-1 is a 24/7 confidential service offered to local residents and is available through a phone call or text.

Since the restart three years ago, 2-1-1 has answered the phone more than 22,000 times and given out over 52,000 web referrals, according to information provided by Candace Poole, 2-1-1 Information and Referral Manager.

“Ninety percent of the calls that we receive are for utility assistance, followed very closely by housing and food,” Poole said in a previous report. “But we also get great calls on, ‘I want to volunteer. I want to give back to my community.’ And just recently, since just before Christmas, we seem to be getting a lot of calls for fire victims. So we’re able to help people find the services that they need after a disaster that was completely out of their control.”

It serves Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Stewart, Talbot and Taylor counties in Georgia. Russell County, Ala., is being served by 2-1-1 UWCV and 2-1-1 Alabama. Residents can also access help via a comprehensive online database at www.211uwcv.org.

The service provides information on utility assistance, shelter, food, clothing or timely needs like severe weather updates and emergency shelter locations.

2-1-1 operators can also direct those in need to services like job search assistance, budgeting and personal financial counseling, and GED programs, Poole said.

Residents can request this information by simply dialing 2-1-1 or texting their area code to 898211 day or night.

“People don’t think of United Way as providing direct services, but through the 211 line, we are providing hope to people,” Poole said. “It might not be in the form of handing someone a payment, or providing a true direct service, but we’re giving them something that they need and something that they maybe have lost, and that’s hope and faith that there are people out there who want to help them.”

Lauren Gorla: 706-571-8647, @gorla94