United Way partners working together: Homeless teen calls 2-1-1 searching for help

Knowing who to call when things are going bad can be difficult.

Dial 2-1-1

2-1-1 is our region's one-call resource for information about nonprofit programs to help in times of need.

Just last month, a 16-year-old who didn’t know where else to turn was going to call the police for help when he heard a broadcast message to “dial 2-1-1 for non-emergency help.” The teen picked up the phone and hit the three buttons “2-1-1” to call United Way’s agency partner. The teenager made a connection to a 2-1-1 trained and certified information and referral agent at the call center.

The teen explained that times were rough and not getting easier,  that the family was homeless, living on the streets and needing shelter. The teen asked if there was anyone who could help.

The agent connected the caller with a counselor at another United Way partner agency, Youth Villages. A follow-up call confirmed the teenager was speaking with the counselor to begin working through the family’s overwhelming challenges.

2-1-1 is made possible through a partnership between United Way of the Mid-South and the Memphis Public Library system. Your support of United Way helps ensure that when people need help, a trained professional can help them cut through the red tape and get connected to nonprofit services in our region.

(This story provided by Ron Reid, Agency Manager with 2-1-1)

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