United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center celebrates AIRS Accreditation on 2-1-1 Day

Shakeitha Tatum, Assistant Vice President, Community Service Response Center. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) has awarded its coveted accreditation to United Way of Central Alabama’s 2-1-1 Information and Referral Center after the center completed expected practices defined by the AIRS Standards and Quality Indicators.

“UWCA is the first I&R in Alabama to receive AIRS Accreditation, and we are pleased that we met the standards for delivering high quality I&R services to Central Alabama,” said Shakeitha Tatum, Assistant Vice President, Community Service Response Center. “We look forward to the continued growth of our program and providing great service to the community.”

February 11 is National 2-1-1 Day

United Way of Central Alabama
Staff and volunteers connected hundreds of evacuees to resources and information as part of 2-1-1 Connects Central Alabama disaster response during Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama.

UWCA is also celebrating Monday, February 11 (2/11), as National 2-1-1 Day with centers across America. This easy to remember telephone number connects callers 24/7 to information about critical health and human services in their communities. Calls to local 2-1-1 centers range from every day needs like unemployment benefits and job training to crisis resources like shelters and food banks.

United Way of Central Alabama received 39,000 calls in 2018.

2-1-1 currently reaches approximately 270 million people, covering 90% of the total U.S. population and all 50 states.

This free service is confidential and connects callers instantly to some resources, functioning as a ‘one stop shop’ for those in need. Also, services are available for non-English speaking callers through a live translation.

How the certification process worked

The certification process also included a remote database review of all resources UWCA has available to its clients to ensure the information is accurate. The next step is the consultation component which United Way completed and submitted required documentation about policies and procedures for the Information and Referral program AIRS also conducted several secret shopper calls throughout the process to ensure they are providing good customer services, providing accurate resources and offering additional assistance when needed based on the need of the caller.

As the number of organizations providing specialized health and human services is on the rise, people find it more frustrating and confusing than ever to access community services making 2-1-1 every more of a community asset.

United Way 2-1-1 Connects Central Alabama. Photo courtesy of United Way of Central Alabama.

Dial 2-1-1 (or call/text us at 1-888-421-1266) to access the best of your community’s resources. You can also visit www.211.org to get connected.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.