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No Car, No Care: How a Duval County Senior used United Way 211 to regain access to health care

September 11, 2020

A Story of Resilience and Support

Stephen*, a senior living in Duval County and a veteran of the Vietnam War, found himself in a dire situation. Suffering from kidney failure and lacking transportation to his crucial medical appointment, he was in urgent need of assistance. This is where the power of community support and United Way 211 came into play.

The United Way 211 Difference

Panicked by his circumstances, Stephen reached out to United Way 211, a 24/7 information and referral service hotline with a specialized case management initiative for veterans called Mission United. Through this avenue, he connected with a compassionate specialist who facilitated his access to transportation to the surgical appointment through the Ride United program.

Empowering Through Transportation

Ride United, a groundbreaking initiative by United Way Worldwide and 12 local United Way markets, is dedicated to breaking down transportation barriers. Its pilot phase has already made a significant impact, providing access to job interviews, critical medical appointments and essential resources like food and household goods. This year, the program has expanded to include delivery services, further empowering individuals in need.

The Impact of Community Support

Donald Earl, director of 211 at United Way of Northeast Florida, highlighted the program’s success, stating, “In partnership with United Way Worldwide and Lyft, we have been able to assist over 800 individuals with rides to job interviews, medical appointments, and access to food.” Stephen’s own experience with the Ride United program showcased the positive impact, as he reported being overjoyed with the drivers’ assistance and kindness.

Changing Lives, One Story at a Time

Stephen’s story is just one of many examples of lives transformed by the support of United Way of Northeast Florida, Mission United and Ride United. This collective effort has provided critical medical care and led to employment opportunities and vital access to food and resources for countless needy individuals.

Join the Cause

United Way 211 remains committed to being the first and most essential resource for anyone in need. To learn more about the services provided by 211, visit unitedwaynefl.org/get-help. IVisit unitedwaynefl.org/give to change a life like Stephen’s now.

*The name Stephen is a pseudonym used to protect the identity of the 211 caller.