Michael Meyer, CEO of Fox Valley United Way based in Aurora, presents information at the Rotary Club of Aurora meeting Monday at Two Brothers Roundhouse. He answered questions about 2-1-1, a free and confidential service that helps people across the U.S. and in many parts of Canada find the local resources they need.
The service is set to be available Thursday, Nov. 1 in Kane County and can be reached by phone, text, and website 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can help you find services and resources that are available to you locally and provide critical services that can improve and save lives.
Information available includes:
• Supplemental food and nutrition programs
• Shelter and housing options and utilities assistance
• Emergency information and disaster relief
• Employment and education opportunities
• Services for veterans
• Health care; vaccination and health epidemic information
• Addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs
• Reentry help for ex-offenders
• Support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
• A safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic abuse.
The United Way of Greater Atlanta was the first organization to make information and referral services accessible using the 2-1-1 dialing code in 1997. In 2000, United Ways and other non-profit organizations operating helplines successfully lobbied the FCC to make 2-1-1 a dedicated number for people in need of local information and resources. Today, United Ways operate or provide funding for more than 70% of 2-1-1 centers.
Meyer said the service in Kane County is free to users but will cost approximately $66,000 annually.
More information can be found at 211.org.
Jason Crane/The Voice