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United Way announces new 211 features

United Way emphasizes the tenets of education, financial stability and health. RECORD PHOTOS
United Way emphasizes the tenets of education, financial stability and health. RECORD PHOTOS

MADISON COUNTY – United Way of Madison County and the City of Huntsville have announced continuation of a unique public-private partnership in service to the community – the 221 call line.

“The focus is to raise awareness of the vital 2-1-1 health and human service referral system, part of a statewide and national network brought to communities by United Ways,” local Community Impact Director Cathy Miller said.

2-1-1 is a national clearinghouse for non-emergency health and human services, which Crisis Services of North Alabama manages locally for United Way of Madison County. The network is available in Alabama and across the country 24 hours a day.

An expert call specialist will ask for the caller’s zip code and direct them to a nearby nonprofit or service agency with services focused on responding to those needs. Typically without such a clearinghouse, individuals may call as many as six or seven numbers before they reach the right services.

“Central to this partnership is the opportunity to help those in need in our community,” local United Way CEO Clay Vandiver said. “In September 2015 when we started this partnership, we saw an increase in calls to 2-1-1. (The increase) means more people are accessing the help they need.” 

United Way appreciates this partnership, Larry Lewis said. Lewis serves as United Way Board President and is associated with Project XYZ and BizTech. “We know that more individuals calling means quicker access to the help they need. This initiative illustrates beautifully the board’s vision for United Way to be seen by the community as the lead connector between those in need and those who can help.”

Since the early 2000s, the unique relationship between Crisis Services of North Alabama and United Way of Madison County has made this service possible.

New services include texting and chats, instead of phone call responses. A call specialist is dedicated to helping families with children from birth to school age to connect to local resources now in place.

To review the 211 features, dial 2-1-1 or visit uwmadisoncounty.org/gethelp. Alternative numbers are 256-716-1000 or 1-800-691-8426. To become a 211 Ambassador, contact United Way of Madison County at 256-536-0745.

Since 1943, United Way of Madison County has been fighting for those in need in our community, investing over $230 million throughout the community with a focus on three key areas: Education, Financial Stability and Health

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