2-1-1 is here to help


The first phone call on Monday came in at 9:15 am.

“Hello. United Way of Northeast Michigan.”

“I don’t know if you can help me and a friend told me to call you. I need help paying my rent and I waswondering if you can help me.”

“Have you contacted the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, as they can assist withissues like yours?”

“I did but they said they I needed to have an eviction notice before they could help.”

“Have you reached out to 2-1-1?”

“What’s that?’

Too often that is the case. “2-1-1? What’s that?”

2-1-1 Northeast Michigan is a 501©3 nonprofit agency committed to using the 2-1-1 dialing code to enhance and strengthen access to health and human service resources in Northeast Michigan. The center is designated as one of the eight regional 2-1-1 centers within Michigan and is responsible for coordinating service for Michigan’s Northeast counties.

2-1-1 believes agencies and communities should be supported by a coordinated, high quality 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) system.
2-1-1 is a free confidential resource connecting people in need with people who can help – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember, three-digit phone number that connects the caller with up-to-date information about hundreds of health and human services throughout Northeast Michigan.

In 2021 our regional 2-1-1 team made 90,003 referrals to over 1,600 agencies. 20% of the contacts were COVID-19 related, 14.7% had a person over 60 in the household and 5.2% had a person in the household receiving disability.

In the U.S.A. 2-1-1 handled 7.2 million COVID-19 requests, 3.8 million housing request, 3.7 million food request, 2/3 million healthcare requests and 2.2 million utility assistance requests.

How does it work? It’s simple. When you dial 2-1-1, you will be connected with a trained professional who will assess your situation, identify your needs and refer you to the resources that can help. You can also text your zip code to 898-211, call 888-636-4211 or use the chat and e-mail options located at www.211nemichigan.org.

Whether you are a person with needs or are a professional seeking assistance for a client, 2-1-1 can help.

Friday, February 11 is National 2-1-1 Day. The United Way of Northeast Michigan is a proud supporter of making 2-1-1 services available in Alcona, Montmorency and Alpena counties. When you support the United Way you are helping to keep 2-1-1 services available in Northeast Michigan.

No matter what. No matter when, 2-1-1 is here.

Joseph Gentry, Executive Director
United Way of Northeast Michigan