New inflation help line 2-1-1 for Utahns
SALT LAKE CITY — During a time when inflation is unpredictable, there are resources in the state that are predictable and consistent in being readily available to help Utahns keep their heads above water now and down the road.
The struggle is real. From the high cost of childcare to transportation and beyond, Bill Crim, United Way of Salt Lake CEO, said adding inflation to the mix does not make matters any easier.
Thankfully, though, Crim said there is help on the other side just three digits away.
“Call the number 2-1-1. That’s the easiest thing to do for a lot of folks, and just call and get connected to live folks who can help to clarify what your needs are and get you to the nearest program or service to help you,” Crim said.
With 3,000 different organizations and 10,000 programs, Crim said their reach through 2-1-1 is there to connect Utahns with all sorts of help, including food, housing, utility and medical assistance.
In addition to calling, Utahns can also visit 211utah.org, download the 211 Utah app or connect over text.
“The last few months have been especially acute. Just like they were back when COVID started, there’s a huge sort of spike in human and basic needs request. The number of interactions and calls to 2-1-1 for housing, specifically, has more than doubled over the last year in the last couple of months. We just know that people are hurting.2-1-1 is there to help,” Crim said.
Also there to help includes Utah Community Action who works hand in hand with the HEAT program and helps qualifying Utah families through a weatherization program.
Angela Vega, Weatherization Program Manager for Utah Community Action is on the front lines helping Utahns with their needs.
“The heat program helps individuals pay for their utility expenses. My program goes in and reduces the cost of utility expenses overall. You apply for the program, then we have a certified scientist essentially that comes in. They test the home with equipment and machines to find where air is leaking, either escaping the home or coming in from the outside,” Vega said.
From there, after coming up with a plan to reduce energy costs, qualifying families may find they’re paying less month to month.
“Usually we can reduce expenses for dominion the gas bill by about 18 percent, and electricity by at least seven percent, so an annual savings of almost 240 dollars on average,” Vega said.
To find out more, including learning if you qualify, you’re encouraged to visit www.utahca.org where you can reach out or give them a call where a real person will be waiting on the other line.
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