about Chad, a 211 caller, this story is told by a 211 operator
Sometimes I forget that our country is at war. And sometimes, our men and women in uniform fall through the cracks when they return from serving abroad. As a United Way 211 call center specialist, I was glad to help one of those servicemen when he called the 211 helpline.
Chad served for four years, and after his return home, he was supposed to receive certain benefits. After months of not receiving a check and being given “the run-around,” Chad finally gave up and decided to call 211.
When I answered Chad’s call, he said he had only $4 in his bank account, his roommates were hounding him for rent, and he didn’t know how he was going to eat.
I was able to refer him to Peninsulaworks, an employment assistance center where he could also apply for General Assistance (GA), a cash assistance program for single adults, and CalFresh, a food assistance program. I also referred Chad to local food pantries so he could get something to eat while waiting for his CalFresh application to be approved. Finally, I referred him to the Daly City Community Service Center to find out about other financial-assistance programs.
Chad was very grateful, and said, “I got more help in four minutes from 211 than I did in four years of looking.” That made my day, and I felt like I had done my part to serve those who serve our country.
211 answered 185,000 calls last year, and is always happy to assist men and women in uniform who are struggling to get by. If you know someone who needs help and doesn’t know where to turn, urge them to call 211 which is open 24/7.