Helping Central Texans through 2-1-1: meet Chandler Foster

National 2-1-1 Day, celebrated on February 11, recognizes the more than 200 2-1-1 helplines located across the country. 

For over 20 years, United Way for Greater Austin’s 2-1-1 helpline has connected thousands of Central Texans to local, statewide, and national resources for housing, food, health, child care, education, employment, transportation, counseling, disaster information, and more. 

This week, we’re celebrating 2-1-1 Day by recognizing our incredible Navigation Specialists, who power this service and work around the clock to answer the call for members of our community. Just last year, our Navigation Specialists answered 254,387 requests for help in our region–that’s one call every two minutes.

Chandler Foster is one of the 2-1-1 team members helping our neighbors navigate the complex system of health and human services in Central Texas. 

“I do this work because I have been on the other side of needing assistance just to make it day by day,” Chandler said. “I know how much the information we provide can change lives. I am living proof.”

Read more about why and how Chandler advances our mission to fight poverty with each and every call. 

What brought you to United Way, and how long have you been on the team?

I recently moved to Texas from Louisiana, where United Way was a major team player in some of the advocating I did for poverty and victims of domestic abuse. I knew that when I arrived in Texas, I wanted to continue to work with a dedicated and like-minded team. So there was no doubt that I would strive to bring my knowledge to United Way for Greater Austin!

What is your favorite thing about working with 2-1-1?

I love that the team has such an open line of communication with each other. We are constantly chatting throughout the day to make sure our callers get the best connections and information. We’re like our own little family.

Why do you do this work?

I do this work because I have been on the other side of needing assistance just to make it day by day. I know how much the information we provide can change lives. I am living proof.

What day-to-day things do you help callers with?

As a Navigation Specialist, I assist callers with everything they would need to sustain a suitable life, from housing, health care, food, and even child care. These are just a few of the amazing things myself and the team does.

Why is 2-1-1 crucial for our community?

2-1-1 is so important because we’re like a one-stop shop that anyone can call for all their needs, and 99% of the time we will have an answer or a community resource to connect them with. We are vital to those who don’t have internet access, who have a disability, or who simply aren’t familiar with helpful resources in their area.

What should others know about 2-1-1?

You can call us at any time of the day or night and we will be there. Before you give up, always give us a call.

Know someone looking for assistance with food, transportation, housing, or other resources? Tell them to give us a call at 2-1-1 to get connected to help in our community. 2-1-1 is free and available 24/7.

You can help our Central Texan neighbors access basic needs by supporting our mission. Please consider making a donation today. Our poverty-fighting work is only possible because of generous people like you.

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