Dial 2-1-1 for Health and Human Service Information

Instead of dialing 911, you dial 211 for all your health and human service needs.

"It will be a single source, where individuals and residents can use their cell phone, their land line, or their computer to access social services, rather than going to a social service and being referred to other social services. So it's one stop, 24/7, they never stop and they are trained professionals at the call center," said Diane Bruno, Co-Chair 211 Committee.

Town officials met with the Ohio United Way to discuss the idea of bringing 211 to Washington County.

"I think this was a great meeting. I think the local united way here has shown great leadership and support and I think they have a great plan in place," said Nick Roman, Ohio United Way 211 Director.

Ohio United Way representatives say it's an easy to remember phone number that people can call with questions or service needs that is not a 911 emergency.

"It can connect residents to services with just one phone call. Right now without 211, it might take 10 calls just to find that service that they need," said Roman.

211 is not in place yet. The board is currently looking for support and sponsors within the community. With the Ohio United Way helping out with part of the first year, the next question is, where does the rest of the money come from?

"The 211 system, there is always going to be pro's and con's to it. Depending on how you look at it, I think the con's are that obviously the powers to be are going have to look to see where the money is going be able to come from, when it comes back on the county for paying for it," said Marietta Fire Chief C.W. Durham.

"Typically a county this size can expect to pay 20,000-25,000 a year for the service, as you move on, the first year is a little bit more expensive so that's why we are here, to help cover those costs," said Roman.

According to Ohio United Way, over 90% of Ohio already has the 211 service, which in 2012 received over 1.4 million calls.

The service also provides communities with reports of what people are calling about, sometimes surfacing needs the community was unaware of.

"One of the aspects of 211, the call center will be taking calls and keeping statistics. Those statistics will be anonymous, no names, so what we will do, is we will receive reports. In those reports we will understand what some of the needs are in our community, and sit down and discuss are those needs currently being met, or are there social services that we need to bring to the table," said Bruno.

If the board does receive sponsors, they say the 211 system will be in place as soon as May of 2014.


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