HELPING A HUNGRY VETERAN
A senior citizen, Tom is missing one leg and one arm. When he needs to leave his second-floor apartment, Tom has to drag his wheelchair down the stairs – there is no elevator. Although he receives home meal delivery through a local nonprofit organization, this week, his meal delivery fell on a holiday, and the meals didn’t come. Without food or real options, Tom called the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline. “Do you know what it feels like to be hungry?” he asked.
The 2-1-1 call specialist discovered Tom is a veteran – a former U.S. Marine – and while he is not currently feeling suicidal, he is definitely isolated and alone. He had had no luck getting the meal service to bring food, and was unable to afford mobility transportation to get his own. After numerous phone calls, 2-1-1 connected with the meal service, discovered what the problem was, and was able to get it resolved. The meal service made a special delivery with 12 extra meals for Tom. Tom was choked up. “You did for me what I couldn’t do myself,” he said. “I so appreciate you. Can I call you again if I need help?” Not only did 2-1-1 help with Tom’s immediate need for food, but the call specialist also reconnected with him later to provide case management and veterans’ services. It’s just one more way United Way works to stabilize individuals and families.