My United Way 2-1-1, a part of United Way of LaPorte County, is promoting 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, healthcare, 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 northern counties: Adams, Allen, Blackford, DeKalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, St. Joseph, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. Hoosiers in all 92 counties can now receive service by dialing 2-1-1.
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 ongoing 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 in the 19 county Northern Indiana area; however, it was only able to answer approximately 49,500 of those calls. An additional 9,000 calls were abandoned before a 2-1-1 specialist could respond.
In 2014, 2,010 people (1 out of every 50) in LaPorte County contacted 2-1-1 to connect to a community resource. To access these local resources, please call 2-1-1 (or 1-877-502-0700), or you can visit 2-1-1’s online database at MyUnitedWay2-1-1.org.
About United Way of LaPorte County
United Way of LaPorte County advances the common good by creating opportunities to build a better life for all. We focus on education, income, and health because these are the building blocks of a quality life. We recruit people and organizations across the community who bring the passion, expertise, and resources to get things done. We invite you to give, advocate, and volunteer. Be part of the change! That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED – WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER. For more information, please visit UnitedWayLPC.org.