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2-1-1: We Answer the Call

Feb 5, 2019 | Blog, Press 2019

Crisis doesn’t adhere to a convenient schedule. That’s why our 2-1-1 helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to help people in need access local resources like food, shelter, utility assistance and more.

Let’s start with Susan, a recent 2-1-1 caller.

Susan is a single mother of two children, recently lost her job and in turn, is struggling financially. The 2-1-1 specialist was able to offer Susan resources to assist her during her current financial crisis, including, food, clothing, personal care/hygiene items, diapers for her children, Medicaid dental providers in the area, medical transportation assistance, and eviction prevention assistance. 2-1-1 specialists know that one issue can affect many aspects of an individual’s life and may require more than one resource to better assist in resolving the issue.

Susan stated, “I didn’t realize all of these programs existed. It is great to know that 2-1-1 can provide information about so many programs in our area.”

National 2-1-1 day is celebrated on February 11th (2/11). 2-1-1 is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects more than 98 percent of the U.S. to essential health and human services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year either online or over the phone. A toll-free call to 2-1-1 connects you to a trained resource specialist who can assist you to find resources and services that are provided to you locally.

2-1-1 Susquehanna River Region has been connecting the residents of Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga County to resources and services since 1983. The call center is staffed by certified Information and Referral Specialist and Mental Health First Aid responders who assist callers to find appropriate resources by utilizing our database of over 4,000 local programs and services. Callers may be experiencing issues such as food insecurity, homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse. In addition, the 2-1-1 specialist assists to connect callers to additional services including free tax preparation through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), disaster response and recovery information, food pantry referrals through Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), and volunteer and donation opportunities.

In 2018, 2-1-1 Susquehanna River Region received more than 36,000 service requests and nearly 10,000 visits were made to our website. In addition to phone and online assistance, 2-1-1 Susquehanna River Region has recently incorporated texting to better service the needs of the community. To text 2-1-1, text your zip code to 898211.

2-1-1 is for everyone, if there is something you are looking for in the community and you don’t know where to start, start with 2-1-1. This service assists individuals, friends, neighbors, family member, service providers, government, grassroots, and faith-based initiatives.

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