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Just Dial 2-1-1

Article submitted by Fermin Avila - 2-1-1 Operations Manager, Mile High United Way. Learn more about Mile High United Way at

It can be overwhelming to call around and search for assistance if you are in need of help with rent, food, shelter, clothing or other types of community services.

What if you needed to access those services? Would you know how to start? Who to call?

Yolanda Rodriguez did. She dialed 2-1-1 to get help with her utility bill. “My electricity was already turned off and it was impossible for me to pay the bill,” Yolanda says. “I got a referral to Catholic Charities who was able to help me pay a portion of the bill. I have since been able to make small payments to get it paid off.”

2-1-1 Colorado is a free, multilingual, confidential service that refers callers to programs that can help stabilize individuals and families with basic human services such as food and shelter, and provide access to other community resources. The 2-1-1 database holds more than 11,000 services across the state of Colorado, supported by nearly 4,000 agencies, and provides one place where people can get accurate information quickly. The most common reasons people call 2-1-1 are for rent and utility assistance, shelter information, food assistance, and seasonal services.

For now, Yolanda is optimistic. Paying the utility bill has allowed her and her two children to stay in the home that belongs to her mother. Yolanda says it is not a permanent situa tion. She has called 2-1-1 at other times to get shelter information and help with childcare. “Every time I have called, the referrals have helped me,” she says. “I’m so grateful.”

Remember …

Just dial 2-1-1
2-1-1 is a free service. All calls are confidential.
Toll free in Colorado 1-866-760-6489

The national 2-1-1 website is - Through this website you can enter your zip code or city or state and find the 2-1-1 information and referral service for your area.

Posted March 2013 on