February 11, 2021
BATH, NY – From Steuben County Government:
Every day, people in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region confront human services issues. It can be an overwhelming task just figuring out where to begin to find help. Today, nonprofit organizations across the country answered that question, marking 2-1-1 Day, in celebration of the nationwide HELPLINE that links people to 600 governmental and nonprofit agencies that can help with a wide array of human services issues 24-hours a day 7-days a week.
2-1-1 HELPLINE was first established by the Federal Communications Commission in July 2000 and has since served more than 300 million Americans. (a vast majority of the population).
Problems Community Information Referral Specialists help people with include, but are not limited to homelessness, food security, employment assistance, healthcare needs disaster, crisis counseling, insurance assistance, stable housing and utility payment help, veterans’ services, and childcare and family services, among many others.
Our regional 2-1-1 service takes calls from a five-county service area (Steuben, Allegany, Yates, Chemung and Schuyler). The 2-1-1 HELPLINE is funded through the state budget process and a partnership with the United Way (who receive donations for the program).
Falling each year on Feb. 11, 2-1-1 Day is meant to celebrate the hard work of our Community Information Referral Specialists, who answered 28,610 phone calls and over 30,000 contacts locally in 2020 and bring awareness to potential HELPLINE callers.
“211 makes the social services ecosystem more efficient by ensuring that people in need are connected to agencies that can help them. 2-1-1 HELPLINE is more accessible than ever with texting, chat and email options in addition to simply dialing 2-1-1,” said Belinda Hoad, Institute for Human Services, Inc. Executive Director. “The timing of this celebration is important because state funding for the 2-1-1 HELPLINE always requires passionate advocacy for the program. This allows us to highlight the good it does and tell our leaders that addressing human services needs in an efficient manner, especially during COVID-19, is a priority.”
The 2-1-1 HELPLINE can be accessed anywhere, anytime by dialing 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898211, or by visiting online at 211helpline.org.