At the request of Gov. Jared Polis and as a result of resources granted by the State of Colorado, 2-1-1 Colorado has expanded capacity of its help center to its residents who have been impacted by COVID-19 to vital community resources.
United Way of Weld County (UWWC) 2-1-1 Colorado oversees 2-1-1 in Region 1, which includes Weld County, Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma counties.
2-1-1 helps people navigate needs and services every day, especially during challenging times for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 to receive help from a navigator between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
UWWC is also calling on organizations that provide essential human services to visit the 211colorado.org website to update their listing, especially with COVID-19 related information. If you know of a resource that should be in the 2-1-1 database, contact UWWC’s 2-1-1 regional outreach coordinator Margie Martinez or at (970) 304-6192.
“Over the past two weeks, the calls to our 2-1-1 Help Center have increased threefold,” said 2-1-1’s Jerene Petersen. “Through this partnership with the state, we are able to increase our 2-1-1 staffing for the next six months, allowing us to ensure we are able to serve Coloradans in crisis in a timely manner and keep the database of services up to date. We rely on our database to connect Coloradans to resources that can help them in their time of need. We’re asking all of our resource partners to help us make sure the information our navigators have access to is accurate, up-to-date and includes COVID-19 related help so we can support our fellow Coloradans in the most effective ways possible.”
In the last several weeks, the top reasons people have reached out to 2-1-1 are:
• Housing, including shelters and transitional services
• Rent and utility assistance
• Applying for SNAP benefits by phone
• Child care
• Clothing/personal/household needs
• Mental health and substance use disorders
• Medical clinics
• Dental clinic
• Other government/economic services
2-1-1 will work in conjunction with The Colorado Health Emergency Line for the Public (CO HELP), a toll-free hotline for the latest public health information. If Coloradans are looking for general information about COVID-19, such as the number of cases in Colorado, the list of symptoms, or how you can protect yourself, they can call CO HELP by dialing 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911.
Funding from the State of Colorado will also allow 2-1-1 centers to invest in their technology needs and other administrative costs to ensure success of the program.
VISTAs handling UWWC 2-1-1 Colorado calls
Seven United Way of Weld County AmeriCorps VISTAS have been reassigned and are now working to handle the significant increase in 2-1-1 calls. The calls have been primarily for basic needs (food, housing, financial assistance, prescriptions, etc.) and the increase in SNAP (food stamp) calls. 2-1-1 resource navigators can take applications over the phone from callers. Over 1,000 calls are being handled per day.