United Way shines light on Southern Kentucky’s 2-1-1 services

By Chris Cooper - ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com

United Way of Southern Kentucky recently celebrated National 2-1-1 Day on Feb. 11, 2017. United Way of Southern Kentucky shined a light on Southern Kentucky’s 2-1-1 services that are available to all residents across the 10-county BRADD region.

The 2-1-1 program is a free information and referral service for callers of all ages and circumstances including families, parents, seniors, veterans and low-income individuals. The 2-1-1 program is a powerful resource for help and hope in any community. It is the place to call for help when you don’t know where to go for help. At the end of the phone line, there is a compassionate person saving a life, transforming a family or changing a community… one phone call at a time. 2-1-1 is core to the mission of United Way and integral to community impact.

The 2-1-1 program can be accessed by phone or computer. A toll-free call to 2-1-1 connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services that can improve and save lives.

Every day thousands of people across North America turn to 2-1-1 for information and support- whether financial, domestic, health or disaster-related. 2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people from all communities and of all ages to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

United Way of Southern Kentucky is concerned about the solution to the root causes of the issues seen over and over in our communities. Because of this they developed a three-pronged research plan, designed to reach out into the 10-county area and seek impute from as many people and resources as possible through a survey, community conversations and secondary data. One of the most identified issues received back was where to go for help.

The Federal Communications Commission assigned 2-1-1 as a three-digit telephone number for the purpose of providing quick and easy access to information about health and human services. Resource navigation specialists work with callers to assess their needs, determine their options and provide information and referral services that can offer assistance and/or intervene in crisis situations. Instead of multiple calls leading to dead ends, by simply dialing 2-1-1, a trained specialist is able to assess a caller’s full scope of needs and identify services that can provide assistance.

United Way of Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 plans to expand services permanently within the next six months to include 24/7 live call intakes, as well as introduce other methods of communication such as text and web chat.

The Contact Center launched the 2-1-1 on July 18, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Since its inception, Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 has received over 4,000 calls from residents seeking assistance with utilities, housing, food, transportation, and many other social service needs.

2-1-1 also assists during times of disaster, providing critical information about evacuation routes, food, and shelter.

“2-1-1 Contact Centers offer direction for individuals and families needing assistance. It is our intent to continue United Way of Southern Kentucky’s efforts by providing accurate information and referral services to residents of Southern Kentucky during times of need and or crisis,” says Christine Dressler, 2-1-1 Contact Center Director.

For more information about Southern Kentucky 2-1-1, log on to the Southern Kentucky website at www.211Center.com .


By Chris Cooper


To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

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