February 10, 2023. Saturday February 11th is National 211 Day, which celebrates the go-to resource that connects people to help for immediate or long-term challenges. United Way’s NC 211 is commemorating this holiday by celebrating their team’s achievements and imagining the future.
NC 211 has consistently served as a trusted resource for North Carolinians across the state. The service provides connection to help with everyday needs, and has also been there for neighbors during disasters, public health crises, and other emergencies.
During hurricanes Matthew and Florence, the team at NC 211 answered more than 30,000 disaster calls to connect people to shelters, evacuation information, and assistance programs. When COVID-19 hit North Carolina in 2020, NC 211 was activated as the emergency number and handled more than 180,000 calls. Now NC 211 is ready for whatever the future holds. Ready to reach more neighbors, ready to respond to disasters, and ready to collaborate with agencies doing great work to make our communities stronger.
In 2022, NC 211 connected people to housing and utility assistance, childcare, food, legal assistance, mental health, and other basic needs. These calls were answered by compassionate Community Resources Specialists who live in North Carolina and understand the intricacies of our state. Additionally, a team of Resource Coordinators work hard to make sure the robust statewide database of health and human services resources is verified and up-to-date.
“Our team has experienced so much together in the past few years,” says Heather Black, United Way of NC Vice President. “We have handled more than 500K calls since 2020, shown flexibility and resiliency, and advocated for community needs. Through it all, we have grown and are grateful for the opportunity to provide this service to our fellow North Carolinians.”
Part of the strength of NC 211 is in their partnerships. The system is financially supported by local United Way organizations throughout North Carolina and generous appropriations in the state budget. NC 211 also partners with government and private sector partners to leverage the infrastructure of NC 211 to provide additional services to callers. For example, NC 211 recently launched a program with AARP and United Way Worldwide to offer enhanced resources and support for family caregivers. The NC 211 team continues to think creatively about how the system can be used in new and innovative ways, to reach even more North Carolinians.
“211 is an incredible service that’s available 24/7/365 to anyone in North Carolina. When someone needs help, it can be overwhelming sifting through programs, figuring out eligibility requirements, and knowing who to call. NC 211 can give you this information so that you feel confident knowing what your next steps are,” says Black.
To get help, call 2-1-1 or 1-888-892-1162. For those unable to make a phone call, visit nc211.org to search NC 211’s database of over 13,000 verified resources. After entering a search term and location, the website will display information about local programs and services.
You can join the 211 Day celebration and learn more about NC 211 by following their social media campaign February 4-11 on Facebook (@nc211) and Twitter (@nc_211). To donate, text NC211DAY to 41444 or visit https://fundraise.givesmart.com/form/djK2HQ?vid=x3ds6.