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United Way of Greater Cleveland hotline helps connect families with resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The 2-1-1 HelpLink connects callers to a navigator who can connect them with food, housing and healthcare resources.

CLEVELAND — United Way of Greater Cleveland's free and confidential 24/7 service is serving as a resource for families being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The HelpLink service, which can be accessed by dialing 2-1-1, connects families to a variety of resources, the top being food and meal help, income support and assistance, and housing. 

2-1-1 HelpLink navigators assist callers in developing a customized plan that fits their immediate needs, physical abilities, and more through the United Way's Community Resource Database. The database is comprised of over 16,000 government, health and human services programs. 

“2-1-1 HelpLink provides an important community service and now, more than ever, the 2-1-1 team stands ready to respond to and assist those in need of essential services such as food, shelter and employment assistance, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.” said United Way of Greater Cleveland President and CEO Augie Napoli.

The service, which has expanded to provide resources for 14 counties and typically handles more than 3,000 calls a week, has experience a spike in the last week. With the demand, the service has experienced longer hold times but United Way is committed to answering every call for those who are in need of resources. 

Callers who are experiencing the longer wait time can use the "Call Back" feature to enter a virtual queue and receive a call back when it is their turn to speak with a navigator. 

Those in need of resource also have the option of an online chat with a 2-1-1 HelpLink navigator by visiting the United Way's site.

United Way of greater Cleveland has also partnered with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Cleveland Department of Public Health to establish a helpline for general information on COVID-19 and important contact information. The helpline can be reached at 1-855-711-3035.

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