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Have Money Problems? Help is a Phone Call Away

United Way Financial Helpline offers free advice Oct. 16 and 17.

United Way of Westchester and Putnam is gathering a team of financial experts who will be available this week to help local residents tackle tough financial issues.

Through its 2-1-1 telephone program, United Way has scheduled its "Financial Helpline" to run on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. To get assistance, all you have to do is dial 211.

"This special helpline is a free service and focused on Westchester and Putnam residents," said Naomi Adler, president and CEO, United Way of Westchester and Putnam. "The financial helpline event utilizes our 2-1-1 line which is expanded to include more lines from the hours of 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. on those two days as volunteers who work in financially related sector jobs — who we train for this event — will receive those kinds of calls and will help us answer financial questions from the public."

The financial experts come from local banks, credit unions, financial associations and financial education non-profit agencies.

Help is available on issues including:

- Budgeting

- Debt

- Mortgages

- Foreclosure

- Credit

- Retirement planning

- Consumer scams

- Paying for college

Launched in 2005, 2-1-1 is a free, confidential helpline that provides health and human services information, referrals, crisis support and disaster recovery information.

United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline of the Hudson Valley region is a collaborative effort of the United Ways of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties, and community and government partners. In 2011, more than 63,000 calls were made to the Hudson Valley 2-1-1 helpline and 105,000 web searches were made at www.hudson211.org

In 2011, the Hudson Valley 2-1-1 Call Center serviced several other New York areas including Long Island, Northeast Region and the Adirondacks/North Country. The total service area now includes more than 6 million people. It was first launched in September 2005 and quickly assisted with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for residents in the Hudson Valley and is now part of a network of regional  2-1-1 call centers that cover 93% of New York State.  

For more information about 2-1-1 visit www.hudson211.org or you can call 2-1-1 from any type of telephone to speak with a professionally trained, paid call specialists from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days a week. 

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