The United Way of Coastal Carolina joined United Way Worldwide and United Way of North Carolina to recognize National 2-1-1 Day on February 11. Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, people in need can dial, text or message 2-1-1 to access free and crisis and emergency counseling, disaster assistance, food, health care and insurance assistance, stable housing and utilities payment assistance, employment services, veteran services and childcare and family services through this United Way initiative.
The trained specialists at 2-1-1 call centers listen, identify underlying problems, and connect people in need with resources and services in their communities. In 2020, 2-1-1 in the United Way of Coastal Carolina service area of Carteret, Craven, Jones and Pamlico Counties answered more than 2300 calls. Housing and shelter, health care, utility assistance, and food insecurity accounted for 61% of the calls.
On March 18, 2020 when NC 211 was activated by Governor Cooper as part of the State’s emergency response, call volume skyrocketed. NC 211 answered more than 206,000 calls in 2020 and the team of call specialists doubled to keep up with the demand. Despite these challenges, NC 211 remains strong in their mission to provide personal connection to resources. That means from the first hello, someone calling 2-1-1 is reaching a real person who can talk through their specific situation.
2-1-1 does more than help people gain access to agencies. Instead, 2-1-1 specialists are trained to identify root causes of a client’s problem –and connect them with a wide range of available resources that meet other underlying needs. 2-1-1 has its “finger on the pulse” of North Carolina’s greatest needs. It is a vital part of United Way of Coastal Carolina’s efforts to build stronger communities and fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.
Submitted by Sherwood Crawford on behalf of Sandra Phelps, Executive Director, United Way of Coastal Carolina