Glen Powell serves as Metro United Way's Manager of 2-1-1.
Describe what you do at Metro United Way:
I am the 2-1-1 Director at Metro United Way, managing this help referral service that connects individuals in our community with resources needed by making just one phone call. In the 8 years that we’ve provided this service, we’ve helped over 400,000 people with personal issues or family problems. I’m responsible for working with our call center team to maintain the best quality service for our calls, working on partner agency information within the database, as well as overseeing our database maintenance team so that we keep our information as accurate and concise as possible. I also work with local County Emergency Management Agencies and the State EMA to provide non-emergency information to the community during nature disasters or crises, share information with Metro Call 311 staff on special events, and coordinate 2-1-1 support of the Louisville Linked program, Designation Degrees, and several Veterans Support groups.
What makes Metro United Way stand out as an employer?
Work and life/family balance really make Metro United Way stand out. I was a drilling military reservist when joining Metro United Way in the fall of 2006, and was deployed to Iraq for an eight month tour later the following year. This was a first for Metro United Way staff, and their support to help prepare me before I departed and while I was gone was outstanding. Different staff members covered by 2-1-1 duties, I accrued vacation and sick time, and I received cards, emails, and letters from staff members to stay connected. In 2012 when I was sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, everyone rallied again to support me completely while I was gone.
What are some of the highlights in working for Metro United Way?
I get to help people dealing with problems everyday by helping them find the help they need. I retired from the Louisville Police Department where I regularly advised people on where to find the help they needed, often using Metro United Way’s Guide to Services to provide agency programs, services, and contact phone numbers. I always thought it would be great if Metro United Way could put all that information - and more - together to access at one easy to remember number, and they did; what a tool! I love my job and that’s my highlight.
What has been your biggest accomplishment during your time so far at Metro United Way?
Growing 2-1-1 resources and educating the community about this great tool available to anyone 24 hours a day! For the professional services community that provides support to the public, 2-1-1 is a directory for them for the clients or patients who they are working with everyday. Case workers, counselors, administrators, and teachers know that through 2-1-1 by phone, online or even in a mobile app, they access a wealth of information to assist families they are working with daily. 2-1-1 also supports other organizations and groups such as JCPS with the Louisville Linked Program and other educational programs, VA and other military groups supporting veterans, and 911 and Emergency Management Agencies in Jefferson and surrounding counties during disasters. Helping 2-1-1 become a program serving more than 400,000 individuals over the last 8 years in itself has been my greatest accomplishment. Helping people improve their lives is what 2-1-1 is all about, and I’m proud to be part of that.
How do you view your role in our community?
I think we’ve just begun to scratch to surface on using 2-1-1 to support our community. We work with Clark, Floyd, and Harrison Counties in Southern Indiana to prescreen callers and connect them to SNAP and Insurances programs. We signed callers up for assistance during the mortgage crisis in 2008 for callers from all around the state. We work regularly with MetroCall 311 to inform the community about programs like Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, flu shot clinics, community health events, and other community events. Recently, I attended the Seniors Day Out and the Homeless/Vets Stand down events and distributed information about 2-1-1 to more than 500 people in just two days. My role is to continue to maintain our high level of quality services network as well as think outside of the box on how we can use 2-1-1 to support our community and ensure that every individual knows that, “2-1-1 is the number to call when you don’t know who to call.”