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Providing the Necessities to Ensure School Readiness

Stephanie, a single mother of three, is no stranger to Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center, a free and confidential referral service that connects callers with community resources.

Her first call to 2-1-1 was in 2006 when she needed childcare that allowed her to work outside of the house. Since then, she has been self-sufficient. But Stephanie was recently laid off from her job unexpectedly, causing her finances to become more and more strained as she struggled to regain employment. As the school year drew closer and she remained unemployed, she increasingly worried about making rent and buying new clothing for her children.

“My kids are used to recycling clothes or getting hand-me-downs, but that only goes so far,” Stephanie said. While most people have received hand-me-downs in one way or another, many have not experienced the feeling of not knowing when or where your next pair of shoes, pants, or winter jacket will come from.“I knew I eventually had to get them new clothes for school.”

Instead of hoping for the best, Stephanie decided to take action by calling Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center. “I’ve always known about 2-1-1, and I’ve always relied on them when I needed help,” she said.

Upon calling, she was quickly connected to several local services which could help her gain the resources she needed. Through 2-1-1, Stephanie was connected to A Precious Child, where she received new clothing for her children, and Catholic Charities, which helped provide her with rental assistance to keep her family safe and off the streets.

Stephanie doesn't know what she would have done if she hadn't called 2-1-1.

"I know we definitely wouldn’t have received rental assistance. If we hadn’t come up with money in the next five days we would have had to move out of the house," Stephanie said.

Stephanie’s recent dilemma is not uncommon. Last year, Mile High United Way 2-1-1 received many calls for referrals to vital basic services from the Metro Denver area. With donor support, 2-1-1 is able to work with more than 1,500 agencies to provide referrals to more than 3,300 services for people like Stephanie.

Learn more about Mile High United Way's 2-1-1 and how we are helping the community.