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Dawn & Anna: Inside Their Experience with 211

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United Way Staff


Did you know there is a helpline neighbors in need can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in more than 100+ languages? Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline is staffed by kind, caring professionals who listen and offer guidance, providing information and referrals to 40,000+ statewide resources.

Dawn, a St. Paul resident, called 211 during a crisis years ago:

“I was living in situation that became dangerous and I wasn’t sure where to turn. Through a phone call to 211, I ended up getting a list of temporary housing options and other resources like food shelves,” she said. “It was a heightened, emotional time and I remember feeling it was an avenue to pursue when I didn’t have one.

Her daughter, Anna, was 13 at the time Dawn reached out to 211. More than a decade later, Anna joined Greater Twin Cities United Way as a campaign representative. She learned more about 211 and made the connection between how it helped her mother and how it helps thousands of Minnesotans every year.

“In stressful times, it makes all the difference to call one number and talk to someone who connects you with countless resources,” Anna said. “I want everyone to understand how easy 211 makes it- there are people who are willing to help and tons of resources out there that you don’t even know about.

Dawn’s call to 211 gave her a sense of relief and a direction to move forward. As Dawn and Anna explained, 211 is a critical lifeline for our neighbors in need of housing assistance.

Hope starts with YOU! Please consider a gift to the 211 Hope Starts Here Fund  by donating now or texting  HOPE211 to 51555.

About the Author

Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive. Together with our partners, we’re meeting immediate community needs while transforming inequitable systems in the areas of housing, food, education and jobs.

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