Fourth Largest County in Illinois Launches 24/7 Helpline for People in Need
WILL COUNTY, IL. (June 1, 2022) – United Way of Will County today launched the 211 Helpline – a free, multi-lingual, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that provides a central access point to health and human services in Will County.
According to Kamala Martinez, President and CEO of United Way of Will County, beginning today the 211 Helpline will enable all Will County residents to connect with a single source – by phone, text or via a new 211 website (https://uwwill.org/211) – to receive an immediate referral to mental health services, addiction support and rehabilitation, crisis counseling, supplemental food programs, shelter and affordable housing options, employment and education support, financial support, and more.
Before today, Will County residents had to search among a variety of suppliers to reach a service they hope will provide them what they need, when they need it. Beginning today, they can connect with 211 and reach trained support specialists who will listen to their needs, identify underlying issues, and connect them to available community resources.
“The 211 Helpline is a proven commodity that has been used successfully by millions of people across North America to improve and save lives,” said Martinez. “In partnership with the Will County government and our many community partners, United Way of Will County is very proud to deliver this best-in-class service to the people of our community.”
Since the February announcement that it would launch the 211 Helpline, United Way of Will County has assembled a database of 445 total agencies and 2,130 services, all Will County based, that will be available to Will County residents. In addition, Martinez said there are more than 900,000 other national and community resources accessible via 211.
Adding resources to the Will County 211 Helpline is an ongoing pursuit. Interested agencies and services can click https://uwwill.org/211 for more information and to apply. The database of services includes the following areas:
- Behavioral Health/Crisis Services/Substance Use
- Clothing/Household Goods Needs
- Disaster/Environment/Public Health & Safety
- Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault
- Family/Individual Life
- Law Enforcement/Legal Aid/ Justice System/ Reentry Services
- Minority Services
- Money Management/Community/Information Services
- Older Adults/Disability Services
- Rent/Utility/Financial Assistance
- Support Groups
- Volunteer Opportunities
Being a 211 Helpline service provider helps an organization reach and assist more of the people they serve.
“Home fires are the most common disaster response for the Red Cross in Will County,” said Brian McDaniel, Executive Director of The American Red Cross of the Illinois River Valley. “Our volunteers are the ones who get people on the road to recovery and having the Will County 211 Helpline as a tool in our toolbox will be a tremendous resource not only for us but for the people we serve.”
According to Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, County Executive for Will County, 211 will collaborate with health and human services providers in Will County to provide accurate, concise information and referrals. “I am proud of the collaborative efforts that made this call center possible,” said Bertino-Tarrant. “Whether it’s connecting with quality health care or assistance with basic needs like food or shelter, 211 will provide personalized attention for anyone seeking a helping hand.”
“Back in February when we announced the service was on its way, we said when someone calls the 211 Helpline, the first words they will hear is: United Way 211, How may we help you?” said Martinez. “Today we are all thrilled to announce that the service is in place and ready to go for the people of Will County. It’s a very good day.”