2-1-1 UWMC

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, wait…it’s VITA Super Saturday!

Waiting to file your taxes until you have time? Wait no more! The time is this Saturday!




United Way of Marion County is hosting it’s VITA Super Saturday event this weekend. Not only can you file your taxes for FREE by simply walking in on Saturday, you can also participate in financial workshops and talk with bank representatives. All while enjoying refreshments on the house!



Can’t make it this Saturday? Fear not!

You can contact 2-1-1 at at ANYTIME to schedule an appointment at any of the 5 VITA sites in Marion County (yes, that’s right, 5 sites)!

2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (text zip code to 898-211), or live web chat.



VITA is Vital

“It’ll be here before you know it…”

We’ve all heard that old saying, but this time it is not referring to the holidays.

United Way of Marion County 2-1-1 would like to cordially invite you to file your taxes…FOR FREE!

That’s right! Although “tax season” isn’t until after the new year, United Way 2-1-1 encourages you to make your appointment for FREE TAX PREPARATION now!


VITA is here to help you save the day…and money!

So, you may be wondering  who qualifies, how to sign up, and what you need to bring?

Here are the VITA basics:

What is VITA?: FREE tax preparation provided through United Way of Marion County by IRS trained volunteers.

What’s the catch?: THERE IS NO CATCH! Why pay to get your taxes done when you can get them done for free?!?! Not to mention, United Way of Marion County’s VITA program makes sure you receive all the tax credits you qualify for, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Check this out to see if you may qualify.

How do I sign up?:  There are a variety of ways to make an appointment for free tax preparation. You can: 1) Dial 2-1-1, 2) Text your zip code to 898-211, or 3) chat with a live specialist. If you would rather not go to an appointment that’s okay, too. You can file your taxes yourself online using our VITA website. There is even a helpline to assist those who have questions while filing themselves.

When?: RIGHT NOW. 2-1-1 is available 24/7!


 United Way of Marion County 2-1-1 is committed to enhancing the financial stability of our community, and that doesn’t stop with the free tax preparation.

For more information on financial assistance, budgeting classes, and personal financial counseling please contact 2-1-1.

We redesigned! How about a revisit?

As most of you know, 2-1-1 can be reached at anytime, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week, by simply dialing 2-1-1.

However, what a lot of our readers don’t know is that 2-1-1 is also available via text (text zip code to 898-211), live web chat, and our comprehensive online resource database.

United Way of Marion County’s 2-1-1 is proud to announce the redesigned 2-1-1 online database. All of United Way of Marion County’s resources are easily accessible for the community online.

Online visitors have the options of searching for the agency by name, the agency’s service area, or service category. Not only is the website more visually appeasing, it is also much more functional and user friendly.

Please take a moment to check out the new and improved online database’s pictorial category system!

2-1-1 logo with words


The wait is over! Well, almost over, at least!

housing authority logo

You may have already heard about the great news, but in case you haven’t…

waitlistThe wait list for Ocala Housing Authority’s Section 8 Program will be opening on Saturday, November 5th at 9am.

Yes, you heard that right, THIS SATURDAY!

For our readers who may not be familiar with the Section 8 Program:   Section 8 is a program that assist those with low income to create housing stability by providing a voucher (to those who qualify) that covers a portion of a household’s rent (for landlord’s that accept housing vouchers).

As you can see, Section 8 has a lot of benefits…Are you interested?


Then make sure to contact 2-1-1 or the Ocala Housing Authority for more information and locations!


2-1-1 is available 24/7 via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (zip code to 898-211), and live chat.

Hurricane Matthew

Fall is here….and so is Hurricane Matthew. However, fear not!

The Marion County EOC and 2-1-1 are here to keep you informed and up-to-date!

2-1-1 has been in communication with the Emergency Operation Center (EOC), and both are working hard to ensure the information being provided to the community is accurate.

Make sure to contact the EOC’s Citizen Information Line (352-369-7500) for questions regarding the storm, or if you would like to report flooding or trees down. The Citizen Information Line will be open today until 10pm, and will re-open tomorrow at 8am. The Citizen Information Line will remain open 24 hours (starting tomorrow) until further notice.

Here is a checklist of emergency supplies suggested by the Marion Emergency Management. Find out more information through their Facebook and website.

For more information please contact the Citizen Information Line or 2-1-1.

Most importantly, be prepared and stay safe!

Season’s Greetings!


As we greet the beginning of fall, and say farewell to summer we are also reminded of the upcoming holidays (even though the Florida heat has not received the memo). We all know that between the festivities, family, and work that the holidays will be here before we know it.

If you would like to learn more about holiday assistance resources in Marion it is as easy as 1-2-3, or excuse me, as easy as 2-1-1 is more like it!

2-1-1 has updated information on the social service agencies offering holiday assistance with:

Thanksgiving and Christmas Day meals (prepared and enjoyed on-site); Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets (to be prepared at home); and holiday gifts and toys (for children and/or disabled/older adults).

Or, if you are wanting to share the holiday spirit through volunteering, donating, or fundraising please contact 2-1-1 for information on local Marion County agencies.


2-1-1 is available 24/7 via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (zip code to 898-211), and live chat.



As the Scouts say, “Be PREPARED”

The Marion County Emergency Management Center (aka Emergency Operations Center or EOC) has provided information on how to stay up-to-date and prepared for the possible impact from the tropical disturbance in the Gulf.

2-1-1 is here to help keep you posted and prepared!



Sandbags are available today, 8/30/16, and tomorrow, 8/31/2016, at various locations throughout the county.

Please contact 2-1-1 for the exact locations/times to pick up the sandbags.

(Most locations are self-serve, requiring a shovel to be needed)

You can also get up-to-date storm information via the radio! Check out what stations to tune into here.

Alert Marion

You can even sign up for emergency alert notifications that are sent directly to your phone through Alert Marion!

Let’s get prepared MARION!

2-1-1 is available 24/7 via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (zip code to 898-211), and live chat.


There’s No Place like Home…

Everyone remembers the classic line “There’s no place like home” coined in The Wizard of Oz, right??

safe place logo
Well, let’s amend that memorable line with “There’s no place like a SAFE home”. Every person, especially those who are vulnerable like children, deserves to feel safe in their own home. Sadly, oftentimes, that is not the case.


Safe Place Txt 4 Help

There are many children who go home scared or who don’t go home at all because of the possibility of some form of abuse or confrontation. The feeling of loneliness and helplessness can almost seem inevitable for these kids.

Let’s help make it known that they are NOT alone!

Adolescents can now text the Safe Place Organization, through their TXT 4 HELP program, to find the closest Safe Place to them!! They will also receive their local youth shelter information like the Arnette House (which is also a Safe Place location).

If you find yourself not able to remember the number to text for Safe Place or the Arnette House, keep in mind that you can contact 2-1-1 ANYTIME to access that information and for crisis support.

2-1-1 is available 24/7 via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (zip code to 898-211), and live chat.

Stuff the Bus

In the midst of summer it may be easy to forget that with the new school year approaching it is also time for back to school shopping. Back to school shopping can be stressful as it is, but especially when it is an added expense to those of us on a fixed budget. It is also very hard parents and children living with homelessness.9034619099_ce3871ce95_o

So, let’s take a load off and stuff our extras in the bus! That is, let’s join Marion County Public Schools Homeless Children and Youth Program and local Veteran’s organization in collecting and donating school supplies, clothing, shoes, and hygiene items for the homeless youth in our community.

Stop by any of the locations below to add some stuff to that bus! (All locations times are Saturdays from 9am-5pm unless otherwise noted)

-July 9- Walmart Easy Street, 2600 SW 19th Ave, Ocala

-July 16- Walmart SR 200, 9570 SW Hwy 200, Ocala

-July 23- Zumba™ for Stuff the Bus, Ward-Highlands Elementary, 537 SE 36 Ave, Ocala (10AM-12noon, $10 per person)

July 30- Walmart Silver Springs Shores, 34 Bahia Ave, Silver Springs Shores

Call 2-1-1 to find out about other locations providing and/or accepting free school supplies!

When to call you ask? ANYTIME!!

2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone, text (text zip code to 898-211), and live chat.  


Plug into the community!

Let’s start by checking out this Plug for our very own Ocala Housing Authority!!

housing authority logo

As many of you know, the Ocala Housing Authority is an organization that assists with the housing needs of the community like Public Housing and Section 8 Vouchers. With that said, OHA has launched a NEW program to further support, not only long-term housing, but also employment, education, and credit rehabilitation. The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a 5 year program designed to increase overall stabilization for families.

Take a look at the Checklist below to see if this program is a good fit for you:
FSS checklist

OHA wants to empower and help you become economically independent. With all the right tools and guidance, they set you up for success.  In fact, the Family Self-Sufficiency Program sets up an escrow account in your name. What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that anytime your income increases from employment that a portion of your rent increase will be credited to your account. Now, AFTER you complete the program the ENTIRE account will be released to the head of household!

If you are interested in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program make sure to contact the Ocala Housing Authority to call and set up an appointment with a program manager:

Tracy Monroe:352.369.2235 (tmonroe@ocalahousing.org)
Stephanie Reynolds:  352.620.3366 (sreynolds@ocalahousing.org)

If you are needing any other type of assistance, please remember that 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (text zip code to 898-211), and live chat


New! Text 2-1-1

Text Your Zip Code to 898-211 for Community Resources

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