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Impact Stories

211 Illinois coordinates the 211 Illinois Statewide Network. Our network connects Illinoisans to vital local and state health and human services programs. Below are impact stories of how our network transforms lives while strengthening communities across Illinois.

Responding to FloodSurvivors in St. Clair and Washington Counties

car underwater

In July 2022, a devastating flash flood occurred in St. Clair and Washington counties following a historic rainfall event. The impact of the floods included multiple swift water rescues and evacuations, hundreds of displaced residents, damaged homes and businesses, and scores of road closures. The area was declared a national disaster. 211 of Greater St. Louis/Southwestern Illinois completed more than 600 disaster intakes with Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs). 211 co-hosted a multi-agency resource center, providing site management and bringing together community-based organizations for a one-stop shop of services and resources. 211 helped facilitate approvals for an Individual Assistance (IA) declaration from FEMA. Once the IA was approved, 211 sent text and voice messages to 600+ residents who applied for assistance and informed them of the next steps and how to register with FEMA. 211 also followed up with those impacted by flooding, surveyed them about their needs, and coordinated additional cleanup efforts. They are still assisting in this local disaster as of October 2023.

BereavementSupport in Cook County

Two hands together at graveside

A woman contacted 2-1-1 after experiencing the sudden and tragic loss of an adult son. Without insurance or additional income, she was unable to afford the funeral expenses. A caring friend reached out to 2-1-1 on her behalf. Upon offering her condolences, a 211 Metro Chicago Resource Navigator diligently searched the database to identify the most appropriate financial assistance programs. With a referral to Catholic Charities, FB was able to receive some funding to assist with the burial expenses. On a follow-up call shortly after her son’s funeral service, FB’s friend expressed her gratitude for the referral. “I actually wanted to send a card to let you know that we appreciate what you did because we didn’t have anything. I thank 211!”.

Responding to MedicaidRe-Enrollment and Other Needs in Cook County

‘KA’ learned of the recent changes to continuous Medicaid enrollment through the media. Through her research, she was met with misinformation and growing frustrations, leaving her unsure of the next steps. ‘KA’ contacted 211 Metro Chicago and spoke to a knowledgeable Resource Navigator (“RN”). The RN referred ‘KA’ to her local Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) office for assistance with her benefits enrollment. During the conversation with 211, she revealed that she was not a native to the Chicago area, and with the recent passing of her husband, she found herself socially isolated. The RN then connected her to a warmline to help with coping strategies. On a follow-up call, ‘KA’ was excited to inform the team that her Medicaid information had been successfully updated and she would not see a coverage gap. She was surprised at how quickly the IDHS agent had assisted her. She was also incredibly appreciative of the kindness and professionalism of the 211 team, stating that simply “speaking with them made me feel better.” ‘KA ‘was happy to report that she is now venturing into her community, meeting new people, and attending events at her local park district.

Hospital room

Securing Housing& Rental Assistance in the Western Suburbs

From a referral from a social service agency in Elgin, a woman contacted 211 for assistance. She is a working mother and the sole provider for a young child with a serious health condition. Her income barely covers their basic needs, let alone the medication needed for her son. MD contacted 211 Metro Chicago for help with rental assistance, as stable housing was crucial to her son’s health. A resourceful Navigator identified two promising agencies that could help meet her needs and MR opted to write the information down. On a follow-up call, MD stated that she was able to make a partial payment for the previous month and received assistance for the rest. However, she still needed help for the current month’s rent. The Navigator provided two additional resources and scheduled another call with MD. On the subsequent call, MD reported that new referrals worked out as well. “Everything is good, I paid everything, thank you so much!”.

Utilityand Rental Assistance Thanks to 211 Partner Provider

Power line silhouettes against sky

A legally blind mother of three contacted 2-1-1. Due to her condition, she has difficulty finding gainful employment. Her unemployment benefits had been exhausted and her SSDI application is pending. Without a consistent source of income, she found herself a few months behind on rent, utility bills, and a car note. She reached out to 211 Metro Chicago where a compassionate Resource Navigator identified some resources to address her needs and work through problem-solving strategies. On a follow-up call, AB was happy to announce that The Salvation Army was able to help with rental assistance and she was approved for utility payment assistance through a LIHEAP program. AB was very grateful for the resources provided by 211 and was able to get all her needs met.