FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 7, 2012

United Way of Dane County’s 2-1-1 helped 65,798 callers get answers and assistance in 2011.

February 11 is official national “2-1-1 Day” in recognition of the free, confidential, easy to remember phone number that connects people to essential community resources. In Dane County, the United Way 2-1-1 call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by trained specialists who help individuals and families find fast, free and confidential help in health and human services. In 2011, Dane County’s 2-1-1 center answered 65,798 calls for help.

“Without 2-1-1, callers can make a half a dozen phone calls to different numbers before finding the services they need,” Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO, United Way Dane County says. “2-1-1 helps cut through the red tape to save time and money, while helping the Dane County community connect with the resources they’re looking for.”

United Way 2-1-1 specialists connect callers to essential community information and services on everything from food and housing needs, job counseling services, health resources, and seasonal help.

“During tax season 2-1-1 has many resources for free tax preparation assistance,” Burlie Williams, Assistant Director, United Way 2-1-1 & Volunteer Center says. “Many people in Dane County could benefit from an Earned Income Tax Credit, Homestead Tax Credit or even qualify for free tax preparation but aren’t aware of it. In a lot of cases, the money available in a credit or refund could help them pay for rent and avoid homelessness.”

About United Way 2-1-1

United Way 2-1-1 is an efficient, effective, and free confidential way to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 2-1-1 call centers operate under national standards and are staffed by trained specialists who quickly assess the callers’ needs and refer them to resources that can assist with their needs. Information and referral is available on a broad range of services including food pantries, affordable housing, health resources, child care, after school programs, elderly care, financial literacy and job training programs. For more information visit our webpage at www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/2-1-1.

Our Community’s Agenda for Change
EDUCATION
• Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
• Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.

SAFETY
• There is a decrease in family homelessness.
• There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.

HEALTH
• People’s health issues are identified and treated early.
• Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes.

United Way engages our community mobilizes volunteers and strengthens local nonprofits to achieve measurable results and change lives.

United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change—seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier. United Way provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate, and volunteer to change the human condition
in Dane County.