United Way of Southwest Alabama Safety Net Series: 2-1-1

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 12:53 PM CST
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From ‘Hello to Help’ 2-1-1 is Here.

National 2-1-1 Day, celebrated on February 11 (2/11) each year, recognizes United Way’s more than 200, 2-1-1′s located throughout the country. 2-1-1 is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects more than 93 percent of our nation to essential health and human services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is an integral part of the Community Safety Net and is easily accessed online or over the phone.

About 2-1-1

In a crisis, in a disaster, in a pandemic, 2-1-1 is here to help every person in every community get connected to available resources for finding food, paying housing bills and connecting to other essential services.

In 2021, the 2-1-1 in Southwest Alabama fielded over 11 thousand requests. Those requests are by real people who are part of the 2-1-1 network. That means from the first hello, someone in crisis is reaching a real person who can provide a connection to help.

•2-1-1 is a vital service available to anyone in their communities to find services and resources

•2-1-1 exemplifies UWSWA’s fight for the basic essentials, health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.

•Donating to UWSWA supports 2-1-1 and ensures it continues to be a vital service in communities across the US, Canada, and right here at home.

•2-1-1 call specialists are essential workers, through the pandemic, they have shown up every day, fielded more requests than ever and helped people navigate the various health, education and economic impacts of COVID-19

The need: Across the world, COVID-19 deaths continue to rise. In the U.S., the economic fallout continues to hit low-wage Americans the hardest, along with people of color and those without a college degree.

•One in four adults has had trouble paying bills, especially rent or mortgage payments.

•One in 6 have borrowed money from friends or gotten food from a food bank.

•Half the adults who lost a job due to COVID-19 are still unemployed.

•2-1-1 is still fielding more than double its normal calls, mostly for help with housing, bills and food. At the same time, community services are strained, unable to meet demand.

The United Way Mobile Call Center, managed by partner agency Lifelines Family Counseling, serves the following eight counties:









2021 requests – 11,883

Top services needed

•Utility assistance

•Rental Assistance

•Homeless Shelter


Covid-19 Quarantine Assistance

Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) & Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) assistance program are working with UWSWA to assist individuals in Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile, and Washington Counties, who are facing hardship resulting from the need to isolate due to COVID-19.

If you’ve tested positive for, or been exposed to, COVID-19, and are required to quarantine, you may qualify for assistance that could help keep your family safe and make isolation easier for you.

If you qualify for help, individuals may have access to assistance such as:


•Personal Hygiene Supplies (e.g. soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.)

•Diapers and/or Baby Wipes COVID-19 Personal Protection Supplies (e.g. masks, hand sanitizer, etc.) • COVID-19 Home Test Kit

•COVID-19 Testing (at health department or other facility)

•Childcare Services

•Cleaning Supplies (e.g. surface sprays and wipes)

•Cleaning Services

•Laundry Services

•Mental Health Counseling Services


These are just a few examples of ways you might receive assistance, but there are strict guidelines to qualify.

Call 2-1-1 (888.421.1266) to be screened for qualification and to learn more about these special programs.