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United Way’s 2-1-1 of WNC 2009 Report to Our Community

United Way’s 2-1-1 of WNC is a community service information line that links people to health and human services in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties. 2-1-1 of WNC is free, confidential and available 24/7 to speakers of all languages. Trained Referral Specialists are available to answer your call and identify the right resources for you. 2-1-1 of WNC is accredited by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), demonstrating full compliance with the AIRS Standards for Professional Information and Referral. We are a part of national and state networks. Approximately 80% of the population of the United States is served by a 2-1-1 program. Visit www.211. org for links to state and national 2-1-1 information.

contents CONNECT the many ways to connect to

BAROMETER statistical analysis of

2-1-1 of WNC......4

2-1-1 inquiries.................6


stories about our callers. ................................8

QUOTES how 2-1-1 helped me........................................ 11

Research shows people make an average of seven phone calls to find the health and human service resources they need. With so many different kinds of services in our community, 2-1-1 of WNC cuts through the confusion and directs people to the right place on their first try.

HOW CAN YOU CONNECT TO 2-1-1 OF WNC? By Phone People can make free, confidential calls to 2-1-1 of WNC day or night and speak with trained staff. Our Referral Specialists provide referrals to health and human services in the community.




2-1-1 of WNC’s comprehensive community resource database contains more than 2,000 programs and services in our four county area, such as housing, food, medicine, transportation, support groups, money management, legal assistance, counseling, health care, recreation, volunteer opportunities and much more.

With our partner, NC 2-1-1, we provide free access to a searchable online database at where users can:

• • • •

search by specialized service topics, view services on a map, email/text message search results, and create accounts to save frequent searches.

Printed Directory 2-1-1 of WNC has printed a Directory of Community Services in Buncombe County to make it easier for people who need help to get information about local services. The directory lists more than 1,000 nonprofit, government and community programs. Books are $30 each and available for purchase MondayFriday, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM at United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, 50 South French Broad Ave., Asheville. In late fall 2010, we anticipate the release of a joint directory for services available to residents of Henderson and Transylvania counties.

Data Partners In addition to contacting 2-1-1 of WNC directly, people can find out about community services through our data partners. In 2009, two special new projects increased the community’s access to information about local resources. North Carolina careLINK is a Web site with information about health and human services throughout the state. It is a project of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and 2-1-1 of WNC contributes information about services in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties. The site can be accessed online at Carolina Homeless Information Network (CHIN) is a project of the North Carolina Housing Coalition that operates a database of state homeless information. Homeless service providers use the system to collect and share information about clients experiencing homelessness. Now case managers at these agencies have direct access to 2-1-1 of WNC’s database from within the CHIN database, streamlining the process of helping these clients access community services.


2-1-1 of WNC is a Social Barometer. Because 2-1-1 of WNC talks to people from all walks of life and direct people to all kinds of community resources, we are in a unique position to notice trends in our community. 2-1-1 of WNC shares this information with community decision-makers such as local coalitions, area institutions, elected officials and more. This information can be helpful to those crafting or advocating for various public policies or community projects.

2009 Statistics





Online Database Searches


Total 2-1-1 of WNC Inquiries


In 2009, we saw a 30 percent increase in calls from 2008, and for the first time, we began tracking associated financial needs. The total was staggering - $1,093,823 in reported needs.

Financial Needs of Callers = $1,093,823.41 42.5%

12,433 12,433

Caller Needs by Category



38.4% 14.1%

Top Ten Needs


• Utility Bill Payments • Food Pantries • Housing Expenses • Christmas Programs • Homeless Shelters • General Legal Aid

• Community Clinics • Food Stamps • Intake/Assessment for Mental Health Services • Home Rental Listings

730 730

1.3% 1.3%

1.2% 1.2%

Rent & Mortgage Assistance

Utility & Heat Assistance Medical/Dental Assistance

Education Education

1,222 1,222 Environmental Environmental Quality Quality

1,343 1,343

Utility & Heat Assistance

Consumer ConsumerServices Services

1,898 1,898 Mental Mental Health Health Care Care and and Counseling Counseling

2,637 2,637 Income Income Support Support and and Employment Employment

3,029 3,029


Individual Individual and and Family FamilyLife Life

3,917 3,917 Criminal Criminal Justice Justice and and Legal Legal Services Services

4,526 4,526 Organizational/ Organizational/ Community/ Community/ International International Services Services

Health Health Care Care

Basic BasicNeeds Needs

4,756 4,756


Rent & Mortgage Assistance Funeral/Burial/Cremation Services

Medical/Dental Assistance Prescription Expense Assistance

Funeral/Burial/Cremation Services Other

Prescription Expense Assistance


Inquiries By County

Buncombe 87.5%

Transylvania 2.2% Madison 2.0% Henderson 8.3%

Top Ten Unmet Needs

• Utility Bill Payments • Christmas Programs • Housing Expenses • Automotive Repairs • Transportation Expenses

• Gas Money • Utility Deposits • Rental Deposits • Homeless Shelters • Food Pantries


United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is advancing the common good by focusing on education, income and health. We believe these are the building blocks of a good life for everyone. As a program of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, 2-1-1 of WNC provides quality information to individuals and area professionals on a wide range of available health and human services and resources, many of which fall in the areas of education, income and health.


real lives

As a result, 2-1-1 of WNC is in the unique position to bear witness to what our neighbors face. The previous statistics give us a sense of scope and scale. The stories that follow put a face to those numbers and remind us why United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and 2-1-1 of WNC work to create opportunities and inspire hope for a better tomorrow.


INCOME Lynne called 2-1-1 of WNC because she was concerned about her youngest child. She felt her toddler wasn’t developing at the same pace her older children had, and he might be delayed in meeting some of his milestones.

2-1-1 of WNC provided Lynne with a referral to a local early intervention program where she received an evaluation for her child and linked with supportive services to help him progress toward kindergarten readiness.

Carolyn, like many residents in Western North Carolina, experienced the impact of the economic downturn first-hand. Her search for employment was not going well, and her savings were nearly depleted. Carolyn called 2-1-1 of WNC to find help for Christmas and also to find community resources to help in her search for employment. The pressures of being unemployed at the holidays were lifted when she was referred to a program that let her sign all five of her children up for gifts. She also had a brighter outlook about her employment search by the time she received a follow-up call from the 2-1-1 of WNC Referral Specialist. One of the 2-1-1 referrals she persued produced a job lead and she had an interview scheduled in the coming days.



ADVOCACY The topic of health care has been big news in the media and papers recently. However, 2-1-1 of WNC Referral Specialists talk to callers everyday who are uninsured, underinsured or lack adequate healthcare.

John called 2-1-1 of WNC because his wife had a painful and severe dental infection that was interfering in her ability to eat and talk. The couple did not have insurance and they were not eligible for Medicaid. They found themselves at a loss for solutions. A 2-1-1 of WNC Referral Specialist located a free dental program that could see John's wife that day. John called back a few days later to say his wife was doing much better. He said she likely avoided greater health risks because she was able to get the infected tooth pulled. He was thankful for the service provided by 2-1-1 of WNC.


2-1-1 of WNC advocates on behalf of individuals, helping them receive the benefits and services for which they are eligble. When none exist, 2-11 of WNC offers support in finding creative solutions. Steven was looking for help to purchase a bus ticket to another state. Transportation expenses has consistently been one of the top five unmet needs by tracked by 2-1-1 of WNC. Steven had been in foster care his whole life and after being released from the military came to the area to reunite with his mother. Due to circumstances in his mother's life, he had to unexpectedly leave her home and go to a shelter. Although there are no agencies that assist with out-of-town bus vouchers, our Referral Specialist got him in touch with an aunt who bought him a bus ticket.

“2-1-1.... ����������� made it easy to find tax filing assistance.” ����������� helped me be less frustrated in my search for information.” ����������� had all the details I needed, like hours of operation.” ����������� is convenient.” ����������� helped me find medical care.” ����������� gave me options of who to call and followed up with me later to see how things went.” ����������� staff were polite and thorough.” ����������� helped me find phone numbers, resources and help.”

caller quotes

����������� helped me find food.” ����������� directed me to the domestic violence agency in the area.”


Our Partners

Contact us

United Way’s 2-1-1 of WNC is a collaborative effort between the United Ways and county governments of Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties.

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Underwriting In addition to funding provided by the partners listed above, we thank the following underwriting sponsors:

Do you have questions about community resources? Do you need to update your agency’s database listing? Would you like training on using the database? Would you like to invite us to speak to a group? Are you looking for statistics on community needs? Would you like to receive our e-newsletter?

Email us at or call us at 2-1-1.



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2-1-1 of WNC 2009 Report to Our Community  

United Way’s 2-1-1 of WNC is a community service information line that links people to health and human services in Buncombe, Henderson, Mad...