United Way of Weld County received nearly 8,000 requests for resources through 2-1-1 Colorado in 2019.
“UWWC 2-1-1 Colorado is such a valuable service to people within our community who need to be connected with resources that are available,” said Margie Martinez, UWWC 2-1-1 regional outreach coordinator. “2-1-1 creates the central place to be able to get people connected to the resources that they’re in need of.”
Here is a recent example of the effectiveness of UWWC 2-1-1 Colorado to the community:
Mary, a single mother who also cares for her grandfather, called 2-1-1 looking for motel payment assistance in Weld County. She had an apartment set up to move into, but needed less than $100 for a night of lodging before moving into the apartment. The 2-1-1 resource navigator requested a special type of assistance for Mary and that request was successful. Mary and her family would have been forced to sleep out in the elements of below-zero weather, and 2-1-1 quite possibly saved their lives and health.
“UWWC 2-1-1 Colorado provides full-service referral help through texting, live chat, web search and live resource navigators,” Martinez said. “There is a significant cost savings through better resource coordination, avoiding service duplication, and by dedicating staff to comprehensive call center and database operations.”
UWWC oversees 2-1-1 in Region 1, which includes Weld County, Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma counties.
Lyle SmithGraybeal, vice president of community impact at UWWC, said he’s excited about what’s ahead for UWWC 2-1-1 Colorado.
“We’re moving onto a new website which is more user-friendly and gives people the ability to find more resources,” SmithGraybeal said.
The top three needs from the 7,995 requests in Weld County in 2019 were utility assistance, clothing/personal/household needs and rent payment assistance.
UWWC 2-1-1 Colorado provides personal referrals for such needs as: food, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits enrollment by phone, children with special health care needs, child care options, older adult needs, medical and dental care, immigration, prescriptions, mental health, home repairs, clothing, housing, rent/utility aid, emergency shelter, volunteer/donation opportunities and more.
In the 2019 fourth quarter alone, 86 percent of the 2,192 callers would recommend 2-1-1 to family and friends, and 67 percent of them followed up on referrals. During that time, 38 percent of the callers were in the age range of 25 to 54, and 63 percent of the total callers were female.
Martinez noted that 2-1-1 is nationwide, and that every Feb. 11 2-1-1 is recognized as National 2-1-1 Day.
“If someone is looking for assistance for a family member, they can look that resource up on a website outside of their region, but certainly locally they can call 2-1-1,” Martinez said. “2-1-1 is also accessible through our United Way of Weld County website (www.unitedway-weld.org).
UWWC partners with the Monfort Family Foundation and Weld County government to help make 2-1-1 possible. For those needing assistance, dial 2-1-1 or (800) 559-5590 toll free, text your zip code to 898-211 and search our database or live chat at www.unitedway-weld.org/211.
If you know of a resource that should be in the 2-1-1 database, contact Martinez at (970) 304-6192 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.