Monday, February 9, 2009

Gov. Proclaims Feb. 11th Colorado 2-1-1 Day


 Governor Proclaims Feb. 11th Colorado 2-1-1 Day
Free, Valuable Resource in Trying Economic Times

Denver, CO – Five years and going strong - 2-1-1, a valuable resource in Colorado, is now being recognized by Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. and the State of Colorado.

This week, the Governor signed a proclamation making February 11 (2/11) Colorado 2-1-1 Day.  2-1-1 is also getting support from Senator Abel Tapia (D-Pueblo) who presented a resolution to the Colorado Legislature this session declaring Feb. 11 Colorado 2-1-1 Day.

2-1-1 is a simple, three digit number that connects people across our state with social services to help them find help.  People can also use 2-1-1 to make a financial donation to the community and look for volunteer opportunities. 

"The reason 2-1-1 is so important is the belief that given the right information, we can help people work their way through challenges," said Alicia Jiron, Senior Director of Mile High United Way's 2-1-1.

United Way and community organizations brought 2-1-1 to Colorado five years ago.  Today, 2-1-1 is available to over 94 percent of Colorado residents.  Information and Referral Specialists across the state take more than 253,000 calls a year. 

"Governor Ritter's support of 2-1-1 is immeasurable," said Christine Benero, President and CEO of Mile High United Way.  "We believe Colorado 2-1-1 day will increase awareness of this essential resource for Coloradans." 

2-1-1 Facts

  • Dial 2-1-1 -- It's a free call. Trained referral specialists are bilingual. We are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. All calls are confidential. You can also find 2-1-1 online at
  • You can call 2-1-1 to make a financial donation or to donate in-kind goods and services to area nonprofits.
  • 2-1-1 is available to over 94 percent of Colorado residents. Information and Referral Specialists across the state take more than 253,000 calls a year.
  • Top needs in 2008 were rent, utilities, shelter and food.
  • Mile High United Way's call center saw a 24 percent jump in calls in 2008 over 2007.
  • In December, 2-1-1 demographics showed that 77 percent are woman, 69 percent are unemployed, 97 percent earn less than 50 percent of area media income (median income for metro Denver is $50,200 for a single person household according to HUD in 2007).
  • In December, 2-1-1 homeless demographics showed that 60 percent say they are homeless for the first time, 52 percent are recently homeless (under 30 days), 68 percent are woman, 47 percent are staying with friends and relatives, 44 percent are from Denver County, 22 percent are under 25 years of age, and there are 54 homeless children (under a year old).
  • Mile High United Way brought 2-1-1 to Colorado to help thousands with one free call, and is one of the most successful examples of our ability to bring nonprofits together. Why is this important? There are more than 6,000 services in the community alone – from emergency shelter to quality child care and after-school programs to senior services – and the public needed one place to go to get accurate information quickly.
  • In Denver, a recent call back survey shows 93 percent are satisfied with 2-1-1 and 95 percent would recommend 2-1-1 to friends, neighbors and co-workers.
  • We are here for you in case of a disaster. We partner with the American Red Cross, Mile High Chapter; The Salvation Army; Catholic Charities; and other agencies to ensure the community is prepared with a disaster response plan for the metro area.
  • Having trouble reaching 2-1-1, please dial 303-561-2111 in the Denver-Boulder metro area.