2-1-1 Success: A Mother’s Story

“I live outside in my car, with my boys.”

10-30-2013 · Homelessness


One Saturday morning in Rockdale County at the back-to-school fair sponsored by the Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families, a 2-1-1 contact center employee handing out information noticed a woman in line nearby with four small boys.

The 2-1-1 manager noticed how quiet and patient the boys were. Compelled to approach the woman, the 2-1-1 manager began to talk to the her and asked her what part of Rockdale County she lived in.

The woman replied, “I live outside in my car, with my boys.”

The woman explained that she was a victim of domestic violence and had to flee her living situation with an abusive partner. At one time, she explained that she stayed at a domestic violence shelter, but her time with them was up and she had to leave.

With all of the challenges that were upon her, her focus was not her living situation, but her son’s education. The woman said she wanted her children to look ahead at their future, and not focus on their present circumstance.

The 2-1-1 manager asked for the woman’s information and used the resources and services of 2-1-1 to connect the woman with United Way’s Regional Commission on Homelessness. In addition, the 2-1-1 manger found an agency to provide groceries and a month’s stay in a local hotel for the woman and her boys. The homeless commission assured the agency that they would work with her to obtain permanent housing, so she and her boys would never have to live in their car again.

When a family is in financial crisis, children do not do well in school, their health deteriorates, and they face or ultimately become homeless. United Way is working to help families and individuals like the woman from this story – and others like her – achieve financial stability and get ahead. We know that large-scale problems, such as homelessness, cannot be solved by a single organization. Our vision is for Greater Atlanta to be a place where all individuals and families thrive.