The Coast Social Network with United Way of Southwest Michigan – Tuesday, February 1, 2022


United Way of Southwest Michigan is celebrating the upcoming ‘National 211 Day’ on February 11 with great information for you to remember and pass on to others about how to use this very important free resource in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren County.

National 211 Day is fast approaching and United Way of Southwest Michigan is raising awareness around this important service. National 211 Day, celebrated on February 11th (2/11) each year, recognizes the more than 200 211s located throughout the country, including here in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties.

When an emergency strikes, United Way of Southwest Michigan’s 211 is there to answer the call—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Whether in times of natural disaster or personal crisis, 211 is committed to being the first, most essential resource to anyone who needs help.

211 is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects people to essential health and human services online or over the phone. Call 211 and speak with a live, highly trained service professional in your area.

If you are outside of Berrien, Cass, or Van Buren Counties, or if you’re calling on a VOIP phone, you can call 1-844-875-9211.

You can also text your zip code to 898-211 to connect with a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services that can improve—and save—lives.

All calls and texts are private and confidential.

Every hour of every day, someone needs help. Whether it’s needing help with providing food for your family to job training, 211 is here.

You’ll find information about:

  • supplemental food and nutrition programs
  • shelter and housing options and utilities assistance
  • emergency information and disaster relief
  • employment and education opportunities
  • services for veterans
  • health care, vaccination, and health epidemic information
  • addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs
  • reentry help for ex-offenders
  • support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
  • a safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic abuse

In 2021, there were 15,101 calls to 211 from residents of Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties.

The breakdown by county is as follows:

  • Berrien – 11,859 calls (substantial number of calls re: water crisis in Benton Harbor)
  • Cass – 1,344 calls
  • Van Buren – 1,898 calls

Among the top requests for assistance were:

  • Disaster-related drinking water
  • Food pantries
  • COVID diagnostic tests
  • Electric-service payment
  • Rent payment