LEE COUNTY — There are many ripple effects of COVID-19 beyond the virus itself — isolation comes with social distancing, food scarcity concerns, particularly for those that are food-insecure, and financial burdens from missing work.
United Way of Lee County has a free 24/7 service that provides resources for mental health, finding food, and paying housing and utility bills. Dial 211 any time of day and a real person will pick up and connect you with real solutions.
2-1-1 is staying up-to-date with the continually changing information regarding senior services, IDPA, DCFS, and HUD (Since people who are homeless are at a much higher risk). This includes what to do and where to go if you're showing symptoms of the virus.
Additionally, calling 2-1-1 will connect callers with a number of social services for needs directly or indirectly related to the virus, such as financial assistance for essential life services like rent and food.
One of the most important area of service 2-1-1 can provide assistance is in mental health. United Way 2-1-1 operators are trained to help with anxiety and stress due to COVID-19.
United Way of Lee County’s Executive Director, Keri Olson, says the hotline is a great collection of resources for the area at any time, but especially during this national emergency. “Our 2–1-1 Community Helpline is available 24/7 for questions regarding virus information, financial assistance, emotional support and essential life services. Please don’t hesitate to call and help us spread the word about this service.”
The 2-1-1 database of services is also available online at findhelp211.org.