2-1-1: It doesn’t matter what you make, any one of us may need to make that call…

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“My wife and I both have good jobs, we’re not struggling, but this summer we found ourselves in upwards of $10,000 of medical debt.,” said Eric Barnett, Director of Pikes Peak United Way 2-1-1.  He listens to calls every day from people in crisis and connects them to resources that can help.  This summer, he found himself turning to the very program he leads.  “Our one-year-old son has had multiple overnight stays in the pediatric ICU, numerous transports to the hospital via ambulance and one flight for life all due to over 20 seizures in 6 months. We found some relief through Project COPE, a service that pays for utility bills,” he said. 

A reminder for us all that we never know when we are going to need help.  I’m grateful that Eric was willing to share his story.  There are countless families in our community who just need a little help.  They are not looking for a hand out, but rather a boost to get them through a difficult time.  Aren’t we all just one phone call, one job loss, one medical emergency away from needing help? 

When people call 2-1-1, our team of navigators is dedicated to finding that help.  With limited resources in the community, they often have to get creative with where they direct our callers.  If rental assistance is gone for the month, they may find other ways to lighten the load, like directing a family to food or utilities assistance. 

I hope you never need to make that call, but we are here if you do – a confidential line that serves more than 35,000 people in our community every year.  When you call 2-1-1, you get connected and get help!  

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The Peak Progress (QLI) Report is a community effort to look at and evaluate different components of quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region. This project convenes volunteers, community members, and leaders from across the region (Vision Councils) to gather and evaluate data and create goals (referred to as “priority areas”) in various categories.

This report originated in 2007 after Howard Brooks and Jerry Smith recognized the need for benchmarking information and gathered the necessary community support and resources to publish the first edition. The 2019/2020 report seeks to move the report forward by not only focusing on indicators, but also looking for ways to take these findings and create actionable change and improve the quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region. To do this, we followed the original process of creating benchmarks by comparing the Pikes Peak Region to other regions in order to see how we are doing compared to other places in the United States, as well as looking at data over time.

This report is for anyone from a general citizen to an elected representative. Based on the foundation of community groups, networks, and resources that were assembled to develop it, this highly beneficial tool provides reliable and easy to understand data with the potential and proposed steps for actionable change.