United Way of Dane County’s 2-1-1 helped 51,881 callers get answers and assistance in 2013.
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 and surrounding areas, 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 efficiently help individuals and families find assistance in 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. In 2013, Dane County’s 2-1-1 center answered 51,881 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, 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.”
United Way 2-1-1 can also connect anyone to a number of resources and sites to help educate and assist residents in understanding the Affordable Care Act, navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace and see if they qualify for the HealthConnect program. HealthConnect, a United Way of Dane County health insurance premium assistance program supported by UW Health, is still accepting applications for help this year. HealthConnect is not health insurance but rather provides financial assistance for an individual’s out of pocket cost of the insurance premium for silver level health plans purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
HealthConnect program is open to any Dane County resident whose income falls between 100-133 percent of the federal poverty level. To enroll in the program, individuals should log onto the Health Insurance Marketplace by visiting healthcare.gov or by calling (800) 318-2596 and purchase any silver level coverage plan. Next, they should call United Way 2-1-1 or visit unitedwaydanecounty.org/healthconnect and submit a short application form.
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 is part of statewide and national systems, ensuring a quality service that meets local and national standards. 2-1-1 has been a service of United Way of Dane County since 1982, staffed by trained specialists who assess callers’ needs and refer them to resources that can be of assistance. For more information visit our webpage at www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/2-1-1.
About Our Community’s Agenda for Change
- Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
- Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.
- There is a decrease in family homelessness.
- There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.
- 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.
About 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. To learn more visit unitedwaydanecounty.org