United Way is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives through financial and educational opportunities, emergency and disaster relief, and partnerships with local organizations. They have local branches located all over the world and getting help from them is easy, you just have to contact them. Call their 211 hotline to talk to a specialist who can connect you to local resources that can help you. You can also contact or visit one of their local branches to speak with someone who can help.
Method 1 of 2:Finding Local Resources
1Call 211 to get connected to a resource specialist in North America. United Way has a free and confidential referral service known as 211 that will help connect you to resources near you that can help assist you. Dial 211 to speak to a resource specialist who can put you in touch with local organizations and resources that can service you.
You do not need to dial a “1” or “0” when you're dialing 211.
211 can only refer people living in North America for services.
The 211 helpline is active 24 hours a day, so you can call anytime.
2Dial 800-247-7564 if you don't live in North America. United Way has international resources that you may be able to take advantage of as well. If you live outside of North America, call their international line to speak to a resource specialist who can help direct you to local resources you can use.
The international line is open all day every day, and they have language translation services to help you communicate with them.
3Find information about healthcare resources near you. Call the helpline to learn about healthcare services in your area that you may be able to take advantage of. This can include free health screens and preventative care such as contraception. Call 211 and ask about healthcare resources in your area.
You may be able to get free or discounted vaccines for you or your children through their program.
Tip: If there is a health epidemic in your area, such as swine flu or meningitis, contact the helpline for information about what you can do to reduce your risk or find care if you contract a contagious illness.
4Learn about housing assistance available near you. You can locate affordable or subsidized housing options that you qualify for through United Way. You can also find emergency shelter if you lose your home or are the victim of a fire or natural disaster. Call 211 and explain your situation to find a solution near you.
United Way may also be able to help you with your utility bills if you're struggling to pay them.
Have your financial information such as pay stubs and tax returns ready when you call 211 to ask about housing assistance so you can reference them on the call.
5Ask about supplemental food and nutrition programs. United Way can connect you with local resources that can assist you in meeting the nutritional needs of you and your family. They can provide educational opportunities to teach you about proper nutrition as well as refer you to local food assistance programs you may be able to take advantage of.
You may be able to find locations near you that serve food to people who qualify based on income or after a disaster.
6Get information about employment and education opportunities. If you're looking for a job or if you want to attend a school near you, United Way may be able to connect you with local groups and programs that can help make that happen. Call the helpline and ask the resource specialist about available jobs or educational opportunities near you.
You may be able to find a local program or organization that can help you pay for your education.
There may be free courses in your area that you can take, such as childcare or mechanical courses.
7Find local services available to veterans. United Way can connect you to groups, programs, and services near you that are available to people who served in the military. This can include job placement services, mental health treatment programs, or financial services that can help you get back on your feet.
Be sure to have your service history and military references handy whenever you call 211 so you can refer to them if the specialist has any questions.
If you're calling on behalf of a family member who served in the military, be sure to mention that on the call.
8Seek help for mental health issues. The United Way helpline can connect you with mental health resources near you such as free mental health screenings, counseling services, or doctor referrals. They can also help connect you with resources for drug or alcohol addiction.
You may be able to find treatment centers near you that can help you overcome addiction issues.
Use the helpline to find family counselor services for you or your children if you're going through a hard time.
9Contact 211 for emergency and disaster information. If you've been the victim of a disaster or emergency situation, call the helpline to be connected with local resources who can help you. You can find information such as where to go to seek shelter and food, how to go about filing insurance claims, and what you need to do following an emergency or disaster.
211 can also connect you to local emergency response services.
Method 2 of 2:Contacting a Local Branch
1Visit https://www.unitedway.org/find-your-united-way/ to find a branch. Visit the website, type in your zip code or city, and click the search button. You'll get a list of local United Way branches in your area that you can contact.
The list will include their address, phone number, and fax number.
Some branches may include a website as well as an email address.
2Look in your phone book for a local branch if you're unable to locate one online. Many United Way branches have listings in your local phone book. Find a recent phonebook and search for United Way under the “U” section of listings.
Try to use the most current phonebook that you can find so you're more likely to have accurate contact information.
3Dial your local branch's phone number to contact them. Use a cellphone or a landline to dial the number of your local United Way branch. They will operate under normal business hours, so call them between 9 am and 5 pm to speak to somebody there.
Explain why you're calling them and have all of the information that you'll need. For example, if you need assistance with your utility bills, make sure you have your most recent bill, and be prepared to answer any questions that they may have.
4Visit your local branch's address to see them in person. Most United Way branches allow you to walk in to speak to someone who can assist you. Check their business hours so you can make sure they're open and visit their main lobby to speak to a representative who can help you.
Bring any documents that you may need with you.
5Send an email to your local branch if they have one. If your local United Way branch has an email address listed, send them an email with any questions you have. Request additional information or resources and include your contact information in your email so they can follow up with you.
Email can be useful because the resource specialist who responds can include links and contact information for programs and resources that you can use.
Tip: Write a good subject line that clearly shows the specialist what your email is about so they can help you better.