United Way working toward social service hotline

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2007

You have heard of 911, and you have likely used 411, but few people in the area are familiar with a new service that is working its way into the region called 211.

The service is akin to 411, but, as a service provided through United Way, it is a way for individuals to get instant access to information on how to obtain social services in their area. United Way of West Alabama is working toward providing the service to the region its serves by contacting phone and telecommunications companies and asking that it be added to their service.

Miles said the organization is trying to make accessibility easier for the people of its region and the new toll free 211 service is a way for people to remember and have easy access to the information at all times. She said the movement in the region towards the service was largely prompted by a nationwide movement by other United Way branches.

Email newsletter signup

Miles said the help that people can receive for the service runs the a gamut of social service topics. From activities for the elderly to credit counseling to help with substance abuse, the United Way information line can handle most all needs. Miles said if the organization doesn&8217;t know how to help they can normally find out through their connections with other social service groups.

Miles said she hopes to have the service going as soon as possible, but the service is pending on contacting and making deals with carriers to provide the service. She said currently residents of Tuscaloosa have access to the 211 service, as do cellular phone users who have service through AT&T. There is currently a toll free number, 866-869-4921, which is working for the region for information requests until the 211 service covers all areas.