If you’re a Cuyahoga County resident contacting 2-1-1, expect to be asked if you or anyone else in your household is a veteran or serving active duty in the military. This isn’t just because there are often additional services available to this population, but also because 2-1-1 has a dedicated Veteran Coordinator – Alex – who runs our Help2Vets information and advocacy program.

One client who answered yes to the veteran question was a U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam Veteran, who had been awarded 3 Purple Hearts. He reached out because he was struggling financially. At the time of his call, his only income was $958 per month in VA Disability funds, and he was facing disconnection of his electric service due to non-payment. Having his electric shut off would have been especially bad as this was in the middle of summer when the temperatures were dangerously high.

Alex knew the local Veterans Service Commission often worked with vets in similar situations, and had funding that could probably help. Alex made sure the Veteran got connected with the agency, and, upon following up to make sure his electricity was still on, learned that the he was assisted with a payment on the utility bill that prevented service disconnection, $400 in grocery gift cards, and assistance to apply for an upward adjustment to his VA Disability Income.

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