United Way brings awareness to 211 hotline - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

United Way brings awareness to 211 hotline

MARSHFIELD (WAOW) - Wisconsin is dealing with a brutal winter. A propane shortage and freezing pipes aren't making it any easier.

But for people not sure where to turn, there is 211, a hotline run by United Way. Tuesday is United Way's 211 Day.

The number provides help in referring people to many services, such as the St. Vincent de Paul medical clinic.

"We would be listed in their database that we do have a free medical clinic what the criteria is and then 211 would give them our contact information and then they would contact us," says Deb Steltenpohl, director of outreach services.

The hotline's program director says last year, 211 received more than 5,200 calls.

"We also do help with electric payments now that it's really cold and the weather is getting worse. So we have information on how to pay your electric bill, pay your gas bill. With the propane shortage that's happening right now too, we have information on that," says Amy Fluno, program director at United Way.

But leaders remind people that 211 is just a tool. It does not have all the answers.

"Anything someone calls about and we don't have information on that so we can kind of keep track of what we don't have in the area and then we can bring it to a bigger community group and say these are the needs that are going on that we're missing," says Fluno.  

Officials say they hope 211 can address those needs in the future.

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