Meet One of the Specialists Connecting Minnesotans with Local Resorces



Ashley is a native Minnesotan and a 211 Community Resource Specialist. She connects callers with resources available through the government and nonprofit organizations. 

Ashley first learned about 211 through her sister, who worked for the organization before Ashley did. “I’ve always had a compassionate heart, I’ve always wanted to help people,” Ashley said. When she learned that 211 connects people with resources they may not have even known were available, she knew she wanted to work there. 


211 Fast Facts 

  • Dial 2-1-1 or call toll free 800-543-7709 to speak with a real person like Ashley, or text your zip code to 898-211 

  • Confidential, free, and available 24/7 

  • Support available in multiple languages 


On a typical day, Ashley works from home. She logs on early to check emails, and there are usually already calls in the queue from Minnesotans looking for help. She spends most of her day taking calls and responding to text messages. Requests for shelter and rent assistance are particularly high right now. 

211 has a huge impact in Minnesota – the type Ashley can see around town. “I remember one time I was visiting my niece in the children’s hospital,” she shared. “I had on a 211 sweatshirt, and the guy at the front desk was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you work for 211. We tell everybody to call you guys.’” 

“People are always telling people about us, which shows you the impact we have in the community,” Ashley continued. 

Her favorite memory from her time with 211? A participant had called and talked to another 211 staff member. This participant then called the 211 line again, just to say thank you. “She literally just called to say thank you,” Ashely said. “She didn’t have to, but she wanted to call to show her gratitude. So that really stuck with me.”




About United Way of Olmsted County  

United Way of Olmsted County (UWOC) is a community change organization with the mission to unite people and resources to improve lives in our community.

We fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community in a variety of ways: we collaborate with local organizations, businesses, and community leaders to mobilize their expertise and resources; we accelerate impact by strengthening systems and cultivating leaders to build a community where all people can thrive, regardless of race or place; and we participate in a collective effort that empowers local residents to create lasting transformations in their own communities through our focus on community-driven change. 


Adèle McLees 

Communications Coordinator 

United Way of Olmsted County