United Way of Dane County’s 2-1-1 provided 72,153 referrals for local residents in 2014.
February 11 is national “2-1-1 Day” in recognition of the free, confidential, easy to remember phone number that connects people to essential community resources (e.g. non-emergency 9-1-1.) 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 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 2014, Dane County’s 2-1-1 center answered 47,890 calls for help and provided 72,153 referrals.

“We hear from people in need every day through calls to United Way 2-1-1,” Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO, United Way Dane County says. “It’s humbling to hear people’s stories, we work hard to link folks who are often in extreme stress to the right sources for their needs.”

United Way 2-1-1 specialists connect callers to essential community information and services on everything from food to 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 and Unity Insurance, is still accepting applications for help this year. HealthConnect is open to any Dane County resident whose income falls between 100-150 percent of the federal poverty level. (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.)

About United Way 2-1-1
United Way 2-1-1 is an efficient, effective, free and confidential way to give or 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.