Update 2-1-1 on your organization’s COVID-19 services–the 24/7 call center is a terrific first point of contact for residents in need

Dozens of detailed directories have emerged over the last several weeks as Washtenaw County leaders have worked tirelessly to respond to the threat of COVID-19 and to help residents navigate the health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic. 

In early April, the Washtenaw Health Initiative shared a number of these COVID-19 directories in an effort to ensure our community knows where to turn for assistance with a wide variety of needs including food, insurance, financial resources, and more. 

However, we also urge all Washtenaw Health Initiative member organizations to share up-to-date information about their services–including new services related to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as temporarily suspended services–with the United Way’s 2-1-1 resource team for Southeast Michigan.

2-1-1 and COVID-19 – download the printable PDF

2-1-1, as many of you know, is a 24/7 hotline for community members who need assistance. Highly trained staff members are on call at all hours to guide community members to the resources that they need, when and where they need them. However, the information 2-1-1 call center staff members share with the community is only as good as the information community providers share with them. 

In late February, the United Way of Washtenaw County emailed the 800-plus Washtenaw County nonprofits in its 2-1-1 directory asking them to update their service listings in light of anticipated COVID-19 needs. Many did so, but not all. Community organizations can check their directory entries by visiting https://www.navigateresources.net/uwse/ and typing in their agency name, then should email 211serviceproviders@liveunitedsem.org to update their service information.  

The community is using the 2-1-1 call center more than ever before. In the last quarter of 2019, 2-1-1 received 1,089 calls from Washtenaw County residents for service referrals–most from the 48197 and 48198 zip codes. Between March 5 and May 7, a two period during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2-1-1 call center staff received 908 calls (check for data and detail updates here). Notably, the overall level of satisfaction callers reported with 2-1-1 phone representatives last year was 9.5 on a 10 point scale.

How to access 2-1-1

The community can access 2-1-1 resource connections in a number of ways, and 2-1-1 has access to translators who can help those for whom English is a second language.

By phone
Dial 211

By text
M–F, 7am–5pm
Text your zip code to 898211

By email
Emails answered during work hours

By chat
M–F, 7am–10pm / Sat–Sun, 4pm–10pm