Westchester County Teams Up With 211
White Plains, NY - Have a question and don’t know where to turn? Finding the answer may be as easy as dialing 2-1-1.United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline is a confidential non-emergency information and referral service, which also provides crisis support for residents, with the financial help of Westchester County government.
Westchester residents can call 2-1-1 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., 7 days a week, 362 days a year, to speak to call specialists that will put them in touch with health and human services experts.
2-1-1 call specialists are knowledgeable on the best resources for a large array of topics. Anything from how to recycle cardboard boxes to employment support services, 2-1-1 is the right number to call. Translation services are also available in over 200 languages.
Westchester County and 2-1-1 work together on a variety of services: federal and state income tax credits, recycling, disability services, summer youth employment, prenatal care, housing and foreclosure programs and life skills workshops. The most recent initiative 2-1-1 and Westchester County are working on together is foster care recruitment. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent, you can now call 2-1-1 for more information.
“Contracting with 2-1-1 has saved us money,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “Utilizing 2-1-1 has increased efficiency in providing Westchester residents with a useful and dependable service.”
Those that know about 2-1-1 are utilizing it. Caller numbers have gone up from 20,290 in year 2010 to 26,443 just from January to June in 2011. The two most called about topics are basic needs, (which include food, housing/shelter, utilities, health services, transportation) and recycling assistance.
“In these especially tight economic times, many of us are facing new issues and need somewhere to turn,” said Pat Anderson, outreach and emergency manager director for 2-1-1. “A lot of people don’t understand the extent of services that are available. 2-1-1 can point them in the right direction.”
To alleviate any confusion between 2-1-1, 9-1-1 and New York City’s 3-1-1:
- 2-1-1: An all encompassing local helpline that offers health and human services information, referral, advocacy and crisis support to help callers find the assistance they need to address the everyday challenges of living as well as needs that develop during times of disaster and other community emergencies. Funding sources for 2-1-1 include grants from local United Ways and corporate foundations as well as grants/contracts with local government and non-profits.
- 9-1-1: Nationwide number to call in an emergency situation.
- 3-1-1: Provides quick, easy access to all New York City government services and information.
For more information on 2-1-1 visit http://www.hudson211.org.