By: Matt Jaworski- Labor Citizen Writer
The Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council launched a new partnership with the United Way of Greater Cleveland to help spread the message about the valuable services available through the 2-1-1 helpline.
“The United Way provides many, many services that can benefit our members,” said Executive Secretary and Business Manager Dave Wondolowski. “Their 2-1-1 phone service is a great tool for folks who may need some sort of assistance, and they’ve already helped thousands of people.”
The 2-1-1 helpline solves problems, advocates for and connects people to social, health and government resources 24 hours a day,
7 days a week. It provides people with free and confidential 24-hour access to a compassionate professional who will review options for help, develop a plan and act as an advocate if someone is faced with barriers to service.
Currently, 94 percent of Ohio’s population can dial 2-1-1 and reach a trained professional through a network of local 2-1-1 centers that serve 70 Ohio counties.
The United Way’s referral specialists have the expertise and training to help answer questions and devise a solution. Once they understand a person’s needs, the specialist searches a resource database and makes a referral to resolve the situation and develop a detailed plan.
Their team draws from more than 18,000 government, health and social services programs to identify all possible resources.
The specialist performs a
follow-up call with the client to ensure resolution and listen to any ongoing concerns. The United Way 2-1-1 help center also collects and prepares detailed reports about the needs of people in the community to assess gaps in services and improve systems.
The partnership with the Cleveland Building Trades includes encouraging affiliated Local Unions to inform members about the 2-1-1 services, as well as promotional
material appearing regularly in The Labor Citizen.
Members of the building trades and their families, like all Ohioans, face unexpected and often stressful situations that can benefit from assistance. Finding the right help is often a major part of the problem.
Instead of letting problems overwhelm a person or their family,
the 2-1-1 helpline can be used to
“If there are instances where folks may have questions or need assistance that the Union Halls
cannot provide, the 2-1-1 call line can help,” said Wondolowski.
Throughout Ohio, the 2-1-1 helpline can be a useful resource for both individuals and families experiencing small and large obstacles with health, income and education.
Services include providing people with the most basic needs such as food, heat and shelter, GED preparation classes, prescription assistance, health insurance enrollment, dedicated services for veterans and free tax services.