Day and night, the team at NC 211 talks to people who are experiencing hardship, feeling concerned about a family member, or simply need more information about resources in their area. As North Carolinians continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic, NC 211 serves as a consistent resource offering hope, comfort, and guidance. On February 11th, United Way of Central Carolinas will join NC 211 in celebrating National 211 Day and highlight the importance of this statewide service provided by United Way of North Carolina.
In 2021, NC 211 answered more than 160,000 calls, offering information about housing, utility assistance, healthcare, and more. These calls were answered by real people who are trained to identify and address root causes of a client’s problem. From the first hello, callers receive compassion and connection to help in their area.
“NC 211 not only provides accurate and up-to-date information, but also offers a personal approach that is unique,” says Heather Black, NC 211 State Director. “Call specialists take the time to listen to the needs of callers and ask questions to understand how they can provide comprehensive assistance. Many people will call to find help with something like utility bills and realize throughout the conversation that they could also benefit from food, healthcare, or childcare services.”
One caller, named Olivia, reached out to NC 211 because she had fallen behind on rent payments. A few minutes into the conversation, the call specialist discovered that Olivia also did not have access to internet service. In addition to providing information about a rent assistance program, the specialist offered a referral for a broadband assistance program that could help cover the cost of internet service.
“Mecklenburg County saw a 49% increase in calls in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” states Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, United Way of Central Carolinas Chief Impact Officer. “Housing and shelter continues to be a top request category for our county. We cannot begin to move past the barriers to economic mobility unless and until fundamental, basic needs such as housing are ensured for all.”
NC 211 is free, multilingual, and available 24/7/365. United Way of Central Carolinas is proud to support this service in conjunction with local United Way organizations throughout North Carolina and generous appropriations in the state budget.
“We are grateful for donors and corporate partners who help sustain NC 211 service in our community,” says Kathryn Firmin-Sellers. “Because of your support, our community members are able to get the information they need any day of the year.”
For those unable to make a phone call, visit nc211.org to search NC 211’s database of nearly 13,000 verified resources. After entering a search term and location, the website will display information about local programs and services.
Join the 211 Day celebration by sharing this resource with others on social media!
211 Day was featured on WSOC. Watch the interview with news anchor, Deneige Broom.