Every hour of every day someone in our community needs essential services - from finding substance abuse assistance to food pantries to help with an aging parent. Faced with the increase in the number of agencies and help lines, people often don't know where to turn. In many cases, people end up going without these necessary and readily available services because they don't know where to start.
As stated in the Executive Summary of the 2005 Community Needs Assessment compiled by United Way of Forsyth County, one of the recommendations was to develop an information and referral network for people in need of services. After researching various options, the United Way of Forsyth County Board decided that the best and most economical way to provide this service to Forsyth County residents was to contract with the 2-1-1 call center in Atlanta to provide these services. The service is free of charge to the caller and offers both English and Spanish speaking operators 24 hours/7 days a week. The call is kept confidential.
An extensive Community Helplist is also printed in both English and Spanish bi-annually and distributed to helping organizations in the community.
The other great benefit to having this service is that United Way of Forsyth County can track the types of services residents are seeking. In 2011, there were approximately 1,110 referrals given to Forsyth County residents. The majority of callers needed help in the following categories:
Utility Assistance - 21%
Housing Assistance - 21%
Rent & mortgage payments
Transitional housing or community shelters
Food Assistance - 9%
Food pantries, meal assistance
Medical Assistance - 8%
Including prescription, dental & mental health and vision care
The most encouraging statistic and the number one reason for calling 2-1-1 in Forsyth County was that 23% of those referrals were people asking where they could donate clothing and household items. What a giving community!
To find help or to give help, dial 2-1-1 from a land line. If dialing outside of Forsyth County, or from a cell phone, please call 404-614-1000. For information on the Community Helplist or if you would like a copy, please contact the United Way of Forsyth County office at 770-781-4110.