More ways to reach us for help

Thursday, August 9, 2018

2-1-1 Texting

Contributor: Lisa Smith, United Way 2-1-1 Manager

In 2017, 28.2 trillion messages were sent from mobile phones worldwide.* We are hoping in 2018, some of those messages will be sent to our new 2-1-1 texting service.

For years, residents in our service area had only two options to connect with 2-1-1: to speak with a trained Information and Referral Specialist over the phone or to search the 2-1-1 online database. We're excited to announce, in addition to those options, United Way 2-1-1 recently launched text messaging and online chatting. There are now four ways to contact 2-1-1:

  1. Dial 2-1-1 (or 800-924-5514) on your phone. Available 24/7.
  2. Text your ZIP Code to 898211. Available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Chat online with 2-1-1. (The chat link is also on United Way Fox Cities’ website.) Available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  4. Search the 2-1-1 online directory. Available 24/7.

All of the ways to contact 2-1-1 connect people to resources such as housing/shelter, mental health, substance abuse, health care, utilities, and food. When residents text or chat with 2-1-1 they can expect the same information, referrals, and support services offered through a phone call. And, as always, the users' information is kept confidential.

“We’re excited to connect in a different way with people,” said Lisa Smith, United Way 2-1-1 Manager, “Technology and the way we communicate is changing and we’re glad to provide information and resources through other channels.”

If you are in our 2-1-1 service area (Calumet, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Manitowoc, Outagamie, Sheboygan, Waushara, Waupaca, or Winnebago County), try reaching out via text next time you or a friend, neighbor, family member, or co-worker needs help. We are here when you need us.