February 11 (2/11) is 211 Day in Colorado. As 211 Colorado was founded in 2002, this is the 20th time that 211 Day has been celebrated as a community reminder of the need for 211 Colorado.
“211 Colorado is a critical resource for Colorado families, be they facing an everyday disaster like job loss or accident or illness or if they are caught up in a natural disaster like a flood or wildfire,” noted Lyle SmithGraybeal, chief operating officer with United Way of Weld County and the 211 Colorado Collaborative vice-chair. “Whatever the difficulty, be it personal or community-wide, 211 Colorado is ready to assist.”
211 Colorado has helped Coloradans connect to the human services that they need to keep their housing, jobs, health and more for 20 years. Since the 2-1-1 dial code became active in Colorado, 211 Colorado has assisted over 3 million Colorado families and today provides border-to-border coverage, serving all of Colorado’s 64 counties.
Ben’s recent call to 211 Colorado represents a common story of help provided. Ben had been out of work and struggling to afford food. He learned from a friend that he may be eligible for ongoing food benefits, but had not asked for help before and wasn’t sure what was available. The 211 Colorado SNAP navigator took Ben’s information and uploaded his application into the online benefits system. The navigator then found Ben two nearby food pantries that he could make use of while waiting for a determination of eligibility.
With seven partnering organizations and four contact centers statewide, anyone can make use of 211 Colorado via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (send zip code to 898-211) or at the www.211Colorado.org website. Trained 211 Colorado resource navigators assist individuals, families and service providers who are seeking community services in times of need such as rent and utility support, help finding food resources, adult and child day care options, legal and tax assistance, natural disasters and more. The service is available in English, Spanish and other languages.
“Each year 211 Colorado makes around 16,000 referrals to resources throughout Weld County and the seven other northeast Colorado counties,” noted Margie Martinez, the 211 Colorado @ UWWC coordinator. “Each of these is an opportunity for an individual or a family to get the help that they need so that they can get their lives back on track.”
211 Colorado offering organizations include Hilltop Community Resources in Grand Junction, Mile High United Way, Pikes Peak United Way, Senior Resource Development Agency in Pueblo, United Way of Larimer County, United Way of Southwest Colorado and United Way of Weld County. Visit www.211Colorado.org or contact Kayla McIlvaine, 211 Colorado program specialist at Mile High United Way, at email@example.com to find out more.