ROCKINGHAM —Day and night, the team at NC 211 talks to people who are experiencing hardship, feeling concerned about a family member or simply need more information about resources in their area. As North Carolinians continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic, NC 211 serves as a consistent resource offering hope, comfort and guidance, according to a news release. On Feb. 11, NC 211 will celebrate National 211 Day and highlight the importance of this statewide service, provided by United Way of North Carolina.
In 2021, NC 211 answered more than 160,000 calls, offering information about housing, utility assistance, health care and more. These calls were answered by real people who are trained to identify and address root causes of a client’s problem. From the first hello, callers receive compassion and connection to help in their area, according to the release.
“NC 211 not only provides accurate and up-to-date information, but also offers a personal approach that is unique,” said Heather Black, NC 211 state director. “Call specialists take the time to listen to the needs of callers and ask questions to understand how they can provide comprehensive assistance. Many people will call to find help with something like utility bills and realize throughout the conversation that they could also benefit from food, health care or childcare services.”
One caller, named Olivia, reached out to NC 211 because she had fallen behind on rent payments. A few minutes into the conversation, the call specialist discovered that Olivia also did not have access to internet service. In addition to providing information about a rent assistance program, the specialist offered a referral for a broadband assistance program that could help cover the cost of internet service.
“211 is free, multilingual, and available 24/7/365,” Black said. “Getting connected to help should be easy and accessible. Whether you’re experiencing a disaster or have a question about a service in your area, we want everyone to feel comfortable reaching out to NC 211.”
NC 211 is provided thanks to the financial support of many local United Way organizations throughout North Carolina and generous appropriations in the state budget.
“We are so grateful for those that invest in NC 211. With your support, we’ve been able to keep up with the ever-changing needs of North Carolinians and continue to grow our team in response to the increased need we’ve seen over the last two years,” Black said.
For those unable to make a phone call, visit www.nc211.org to search NC 211’s database of nearly 13,000 verified resources. After entering a search term and location, the website will display information about local programs and services.