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In Partnership with Cuyahoga County, United Way’s 2-1-1 Helplink Provides Resources and Referrals

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Miranda Kortan, Cuyahoga County: 216.698.2546; mkortan@cuyahogacounty.us 
Katie Connell, United Way of Greater Cleveland: 404.895.5513; kconnell@unitedwaycleveland.org 

In partnership with Cuyahoga County, United Way’s 2-1-1 HelpLink provides resources and referrals for seniors and others with specific severe chronic diseases who wish to schedule and receive COVID-19 vaccinations

Beginning Monday, Jan. 25, by calling 2-1-1 Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., those eligible for phase 1b inoculations can access dedicated staff to locate nearby vaccine providers

– Cuyahoga County and United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 2-1-1 HelpLink today announced that beginning Monday, Jan. 25, dedicated staff will provide Cuyahoga County residents eligible for phase 1b inoculations with the information and resources they need to identify nearby COVID-19 vaccine providers. Nearly 90 providers, including hospitals, primary care physicians and pharmacies, now offer vaccinations across Cuyahoga County to eligible individuals.

Through additional funding provided by Cuyahoga County and United Way of Greater Cleveland, 2-1-1 HelpLink added 15 temporary staff members to work closely with callers over the next 10 weeks to locate available vaccine providers near their zip code, as well as determine additional documentation or requirements necessary to register to receive the vaccination.

“We know that people are eager to get vaccinated and that the rollout of the vaccine has been confusing for many,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “We are supporting this centralized and familiar phone number so people can get answers to their questions, such as ‘Am I eligible?’ ‘When can I get vaccinated?’ ‘Where do I sign up?’ and other concerns. It is crucial that as many people as are eligible get the vaccine as soon as possible so we can get on the road to health and safety for all.”

2-1-1 HelpLink is a free and confidential service available to handle calls from those who need assistance with hundreds of resources, including food and meal assistance, shelter or rental assistance, utility assistance and more. Through 2-1-1’s dedicated line, COVID-19 vaccination information is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., beginning on Monday, Jan. 25.

“Demand is extremely high among residents across our community to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, and 2-1-1 HelpLink is doing its part in collaboration with Cuyahoga County to offer this dedicated line, staffed by trained specialists, to eligible seniors living in the County and seeking information and referrals to schedule appointments directly with nearby providers," said Augie Napoli, United Way of Greater Cleveland’s president and chief executive officer.

"The last 10 months were extremely challenging for Greater Clevelanders, and I’m proud that United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 2-1-1 HelpLink continues to serve as a vital resource for those in need of support across our community," added Napoli.

On Monday, Jan. 25, and every weekday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. after, callers dialing 2-1-1 on their phone can speak directly with one of 2-1-1’s trained specialists who will answer questions and share resources to help eligible seniors connect with local COVID-19 vaccination providers to schedule appointments.

2-1-1 HelpLink has received more than 100,000 calls and chats requesting help from individuals and families residing in Cuyahoga County since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. 2-1-1's average call volume has doubled since the start of the crisis, often exceeding 6,000 calls per week.