This year, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of National 2-1-1 Day!

211_live_unitedIn this age of vast information, finding the right resource at the right time has become more challenging than ever due to content overload. This easy-to-remember number saves time and frustration by eliminating the need for callers to navigate a maze of agencies and help-lines.

United Way 2-1-1 directs people looking for resources to help them face life challenges, often for the first time, to the appropriate service provider. Information specialists field calls from people who have lost their jobs, who are uninsured, or who face foreclosure on their homes – among others. People can also visit for help and resources. United Way of Salt Lake is committed to ensuring that people get connected and get answers. With the services provided by 2-1-1, there is no longer a wrong number when seeking to find or give help.

Currently, more than 246 million Americans can seek help by dialing 2-1-1, with coverage in all 50 states. In 2012, more than 105,123 Utahns called United Way 2-1-1 seeking assistance and 164,761 referrals were made.

Support Bill SB56, 2-1-1 Information and Referral Network, this Legislative Session!!

Senator Todd Weiler is sponsoring legislation to develop a standard of excellence for information and referral services, by creating a 2-1-1 public-private partnership that includes funds from the state and continued private funding through United Way. This partnership will ensure this free, statewide service can provide quality, up-to-date information to thousands of Utahns seeking health and human services, as well as volunteer opportunities. Having one strong statewide program would provide many benefits, such as having information housed in one database, keeping information accurate and up-to-date, and providing 24/7 afterhours coverage. Additionally, outreach for potential disasters would be enhanced, and training for state and private programs would be provided.

SB56, will allow 2-1-1 to function at a higher level, serve more people, and give callers in crisis better information and more comprehensive resources. As partner of the state, United Way 2-1-1 is dedicated to ensuring that callers have a positive experience and view 2-1-1 as an extension of state services.

Last week, SB56, Utah 2-1-1 Information and Referral Network, unanimously passed out of Committee and is headed to the Senate floor! Take action now by contacting your legislator in support of SB56.