Need help meeting a basic need? Call 2-1-1!

By ACSET Community Action Agency

Sometimes life can bring unexpected challenges. The loss of a job, unexpected medical bills or a house fire can make a financially stable family face homelessness. Unfortunately, unexpected emergencies can happen at any time. There are many organizations in Kent County that provide assistance in these situations. But how do you know whom to contact? What if you need help with food and paying utilities and rent all at the same time?

There is one resource that connects residents to more than 2,900 services in Kent County. The Heart of West Michigan United Way’s 2-1-1 database is the first place families should go in their time of need. Information can be easily accessed by calling 2-1-1 anywhere in Kent County, emailing or online at: They even have their own app available for androids and iPhones — just search Kent 2-1-1 to download.

Whatever your situation, you are not alone. In Kent County, it is estimated that 39% of households are struggling to afford basic needs. Last year our local 2-1-1 answered 65,000 calls for help. Most calls are for assistance with:

  • Food
  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

The database also offers resources specifically for Veterans and information on employment services, education and arts & recreation.

Your Community in Action! is provided by ASCET Community Action Agency. To learn more about how they help meet emergency needs and assist with areas of self-sufficiency, visit