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Underutilized service helping people during government shutdown

The United Way's "211" service is underutilized locally but it is coming to light during the government shutdown. How anyone can benefit and find local resources.

Posted: Jan 16, 2019 4:26 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2019 6:02 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - As the government shutdown continues, the need for assistance grows as does the number of companies willing to help.
Wells Fargo is just one company willing to help people impacted by the government shutdown. The bank is reversing monthly service and overdraft fees and for customers who are having difficulties making their loan payments and representatives say they will work with federal workers to find assistance options. A few other companies offering assistance for government workers are Verizon Wireless, they are doing a "Promise to Pay Program", Quicken Loans is waiving all late fees for those who may miss a payment, and US Bank is offering low interest loans up to $6,000.
But how does a person know these services and others exist? The United Way of North Central Iowa tells KIMT their 211 service is severely underutilized locally. It is a national service. Whether you are impacted by the shutdown or not, you can dial 2-1-1 to find low income housing, childcare, financial assistance, or food options like the Community Kitchen of North Iowa.
That's where you'll find Clay Trytten most days over the lunch hour. Until today, he had never heard of the 211 service but could have used it in the past to find transportation.
“There was a time when we didn't have a car and I was not able to travel far with my walker. We did use the transit system and that really was our wheels for a while,” says Trytten.
Trytten enjoys going to the Community Kitchen for the social aspect and says he has many friends who could really use this service including one now who is looking for affordable housing.
“Now that you've told us about this we are going to use that tool.”
Again, this line is for everyone but if you are impacted by the government shut down make sure to tell the representative and they can better serve you.
For a complete rundown of companies offering financial relief during the government shutdown click here.

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