2-1-1 service a valuable asset for this area

Much the way we all know to dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency, there’s now a new number to remember when seeking other help and services in Washington County – 2-1-1.

That simple phone number now provides area residents with information about health and human services programs. It comes via the United Way of Washington County which received a $53,333 grant from the CareSource Foundation to implement the program.

We’re glad United Way of Washington County was able to secure the grant and offer the program. It’s a service that will likely help many Washington County residents over and over again. And, the service is provided without using local United Way campaign dollars. Instead, the local United Way board will continue to seek other funding sources to continue the 2-1-1 service.

Those who call 2-1-1 will speak with a trained information and referral specialist who can provide resources available to meet needs such as rent, food, utilities, housing, health services and more.

An extra benefit is reducing the number of non-emergency calls that typically go to 9-1-1. The 2-1-1 line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.

The 2-1-1 service currently serves nearly 10.5 million people in 61 Ohio counties. Nearly 1.5 million calls were made to 2-1-1 last year alone, with 60 percent of the calls for basic needs.

Washington County is lucky to now be included in this service.