News release from the United Way of Allen County:
2-1-1 Announces Public Policy Efforts on National 2-1-1 Day
(February 11, 2015) – My United Way 2-1-1, a part of United Way of Allen County, announced its new public policy efforts to assist in the expansion and sustainability of the service. 2-1-1 announced that it would focus its efforts on gaining state funding to help support the service as well as continuing work to secure 2-1-1 as a required dialing code for all telephone service providers.
2-1-1 is a national dialing code for free, confidential, 24-hour access to more than 1,800 local health and human services, such as shelter, food, legal aid, counseling, utility assistance, health care, transportation and more. 2-1-1 Information and Referral Specialists are trained to help callers identify their needs and determine what agency or program will best meet their needs. My United Way 2-1-1 currently covers more than 1.5 million Indiana residents in 19 counties: Adams, Allen, Blackford, DeKalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, St. Joseph, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.
My United Way 2-1-1’s public policy efforts coincide with House Bill 1010, which, if approved, dictates that the State of Indiana would provide $2 million annually to support the service. Discussions on securing 2-1-1 as a national dialing code are not a part of this year’s legislative session, but remain an on-going part of 2-1-1’s public policy efforts.
“The bill’s approval is critical to the work of all 2-1-1 centers in Indiana,” said Tiffany Bailey, director of 2-1-1 Services, Income and Basic Needs. “There is more need now than we can meet each year and additional funding will provide sustainability to the 2-1-1 system and could help increase capacity, allowing centers to answer more requests for service.”
Last year alone, My United Way 2-1-1 received nearly 58,500 calls requesting service. However, they were only able to answered approximately 49,500 of those calls. An additional 9,000 calls were abandoned before a 2-1-1 Specialist could answer.
To access local resources please call 2-1-1 or 1-877-502-0700 or visit 2-1-1’s online database at www.myunitedway2-1-1.org.
About United Way
Established in 1922, United Way of Allen County is a not-for-profit organization that works to strengthen the community through the four building blocks for a good quality of life: education, income, health and basic needs. United Way believes that quality education helps families achieve stable jobs, a safe place to live and good health. For more information, please visit www.unitedwayallencounty.org.