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2-1-1: We Make Sure You Get the Help You Need

When Natasha was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the news could not come at a worse time. According to this report by Kevin Robinson in the Pensacola News Journal, Natasha recently had taken on the responsibility of caring for her grandchildren, and now she found herself too sick to work – with the promise of help from disability checks still many months away. Soon Natasha fell behind in her house payments, and foreclosure became a very real possibility. That’s when she reached out to 2-1-1.

2-1-1 is a referral and information helpline and website that connects people across North America to essential health and human services. The service is free, accessible 24/7, completely confidential, and available in more than 180 languages. Last year, 2-1-1 agents answered around 13 million requests, connecting people to emergency financial assistance, housing, employment, health care, education, disaster relief services, legal aid, and more.


2-1-1 Northwest Florida Manger Michael Martin in the call center at the United Way building in Pensacola. (Photo: Gregg Pachkowski/


Through 2-1-1, Natasha was able to access mortgage assistance and other local resources that tided her over until she could get help from the Florida Department of Children and Families. We’re happy to report that she and her grandkids are back on their feet and doing well.

Too many people like Natasha risk slipping through the cracks; 2-1-1 is there to make sure they don’t. Once a person has the fundamentals in place – a roof over their head, food on the table – they can benefit from the more long-term support that United Way is known for.

In nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries on six continents, United Way works to make sure children get a strong start in school, youth earn the credentials they need to thrive in the job market, and people of all ages have an opportunity to improve their economic status and live a healthy life. Together with partners from every sector of society, we fight for lasting change that impacts nearly 50 million people – every year.

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