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2-1-1 Day in Athens

United Way of Northeast Georgia

The United Way of Northeast Georgia is inviting Athenians to join others around the country in celebrating 2-1-1 Day this Sunday. 2-1-1 is the free and confidential health and human services helpline. Mark Madison is the manager of the Athens area service.

“When someone calls 2-1-1, one of the best parts is you’re talking to a real person,” Madison said. “No one’s issue is single-faceted; a lot of people will call for financial assistance. Maybe they can’t pay the utility bill this month or the rent bill this month but that’s not going to be it.”

2-1-1 provides links to a variety of agencies, organizations, nonprofits, and others. Madison says callers usually need help on several fronts.

“They also probably need some help with getting their finances in order so we can help them get connected with financial education providers, maybe someone like the Ark here in Athens. They can learn a little more about budgeting, or maybe they’re trying to get connected with a GED class, somewhere like Action Ministries, and then get connected to a better job; and even something as simple as childcare. That’s a really big expense for a lot of people that are having a hard time making ends meet.”

Madison says the service is for anyone who needs help, information, or services.

“It’s not always someone that seems like they are in dire straits,” according to Madison. “We definitely want people to tell them, but it could just be your friend that isn’t able to make ends meet right now. They might need a little help here or there. It’s going to be that friend or family member that hits a rough patch.“


Madison says 2-1-1 covers 93% of the U.S. and is also available in Canada. Georgia has 85% coverage, but providers are working in increase that number.