By Guest Blogger Mary Ducksworth, AmeriCorps VISTA – ISD Network Specialist – United Way Greater Greensboro
“You don’t miss the water, until the well runs dry.” A phrase many, if not all, Americans can relate to right now. Searching for solid ground in hard economic times reaches beyond low-income households. We’ve seen a staggering rise, as even middle-class families feel strained by the dry economic resource well in our communities.
A mother may feel desperation, a father begins to lose hope. However, both hold on simply because of the family that depends on them. What each family, no matter the economic status, has in-common, is a weighted feeling of insecurity – housing insecurity, food insecurity, financial insecurity.
In our mission to support community-based services, United Way of Greater Greensboro has met many mothers, fathers, or single-family homes confused and frustrated by economic insecurity. We understand the urge to grow stronger. We’ve come to realize that perhaps the way families understand and cope with insecurity has a lot to do with lack of access to resources. NC 211 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina, where families and individuals in all 100 counties in North Carolina can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services within their community. If unsure about the first step to take, NC 211 can offer a starting point for accessing resources in your community.
When an individual dials 2-1-1 looking for programs or services in their community, a trained call specialist will assist based on his or her geographic location to identify resources based on the caller’s current needs. In addition to contact information for the community resource, the call specialist will provide eligibility requirements, the intake process for a program, the hours of operation, any requirements for appointments, and accessibility information, when available. 211 is also accessible online at nc211.org and by phone at 1-888-892-1162.
No one organization can solve every need everywhere, but integrating these services can start a collaborative journey to support and relief. Below are a couple of services and organizations that can be discussed during a call to the NC 2-1-1 hotline, ranging from adult education to housing, clothing, and utilities assistance.
Reading Connections- An organization that has programs designed to help adult learners at all proficiency levels to meet their learning goals. readingconnections.org or call (336)-230-2223
New Arrivals Institute – N.A.I offers English and employment readiness classes for refugee and immigrants with self-sufficiency. newarrivalsinstitute.org or call (335)-937-4701
Learning Together – Learning together provides classes to build self-efficacy in the areas of education. learningtogether.com/home
Food and Clothing Resources
Women’s Resources– Junior League GSO offers vouchers for clothing through local retail. womenscentergso.org/index.html or call (336)-275-6090
Backpack Beginnings – Backpack Beginnings offers food and clothing for children of families in need. backpackbeginnings.org or call (336)-954-7445
Greensboro Housing Coalition: GHC provides the community with greater access to housing opportunities. GHC provides the information about resources necessary to help families and individuals with housing crisis and prevent housing loss. greensborohousingcoalition.org or call (336)-691-9521
Housing Consultants Group: HCG offers services tailored to individual needs around homeownership, foreclosure, and financial literacy housingconsultantsgroup.org or call (336)-553-0946
Salvation Army of Greater Greensboro – Salvation Army of Greater Greensboro provides crisis assistance for those needing help paying utilities or rent. salvationarmycarolinas.org/greensboro/programs
Greensboro Urban Ministries – Through Emergency Assistance Program (EAP), financial assistance is provided for costs necessary to maintain housing – utility, water, rent, and/or mortgage payments. Food assistance is also available. greensborourbanministry.org/services
For more resources and helpful lists, check out TMoM’s directory page here.
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