Letter: Get connected; get help | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Get connected; get help

“I was talking to a 59-year-old man who called 2-1-1 for food. As we began discussing some options, I realized the situation was far more complex than just a matter of finding him some groceries. The gentleman was living in an unfurnished apartment with a single can of soup. Even if he could have comfortably traveled to a food pantry, he didn’t have a pen or paper to write the resources I’d normally provide.

“Knowing he would need to navigate through complex intake processes with several programs, I asked permission to make a call on his behalf to an agency that could check in on him, bring him food and work with him on improving his living situation. After I worked with a local organization to arrange for some assistance, I checked back in with my caller. He had received food and had been assigned to a case manager, with whom I periodically follow up to check in and make sure my caller is getting the help he needs.” — Suzanne, 211 specialist

As much as I wish I could answer our phones 24/7 and provide resources to anyone in need in that moment, I can’t do it alone. That’s why Routt County United Way partners with 211, a vital service leveraged by millions of people across North America and available right here in Routt County. When United Way can’t be there to offer resource and referral support, 211 can be.

Every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 211 provides free and confidential crisis counseling such as disaster assistance, health care and insurance assistance, employment services and family services. No matter the situation, the specialists at 211 listen, identify underlying problems and connect people in need with resources and services in our community that improve their lives.

211 does more than “patch people through” to our local agencies. Instead, 211 specialists are trained to identify and address root causes of a client’s problem and connect them with a wide range of available resources that meet all the underlying needs, not just the one that prompted the call. In partnership with 211, Routt County needs are brought into focus and taken care of every day.

This resource is available to you. Dial or text 211 to get connected and find help any day or check their website at 211.org.

Kate Nowak

Routt County United Way executive director

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