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What is 2-1-1?

2-1-1 is an easy to remember, free three digit telephone number that connects people to health and human service information and referral. 2-1-1 connects individuals and families to community agencies. United Way 2-1-1 launched in 1970 in Columbus, Indiana. United Way 2-1-1 now serves 9 south-central counties including: Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Lawarence, Orange, Scott, and Washington .

Why 2-1-1?

2-1-1 is easy to use and helps track gaps, duplication and trends in social services. 2-1-1 is essential in disaster relief, helping reduce non-emergency calls to 911 by connecting victims, donors and volunteers with social service agencies. 2-1-1 can also be good for business because it helps employees through crises.

What will a call to 2-1-1 cost me?

There are no charges for calls from landline phones; calls are free from most pay phones. However, normal usage minutes and taxes apply to cell phone users.

Who funds United Way 2-1-1?

United Way 2-1-1 is funding by United Way of Bartholomew County, Brown County Government, Decatur County United Fund, Jackson County United Way, City of Seymour, Jackson County Government, Jennings County United Way and Washington County Community Foundation.

How does 2-1-1 work?

The 3-digits of "2-1-1" are "translated" by each telephone company and the IN211 network identifies the area code and prefix of the originating call and routes it to the appropriate IN211 Center. This is transparent to the caller. The 2-1-1 call is answered by a trained I&R Specialist.

Can I use my cell phone to call 2-1-1?

Most wireless carriers have completed the work needed for 2-1-1 access (for example, Centennial, AT&T, Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon.). Arrangements with other cellular providers are ongoing.

  • Because most cellular plans charge customers based on usage, the 2-1-1 caller on a cell phone will be charged normal minutes, fees and taxes for usage.
  • If you call from a cell phone, dial 2-1-1and you cannot reach 2-1-1; dial 812-376-6666. Calls are answered Monday-Friday 8 AM- 5 PM.
Can I call 2-1-1 from a pay telephone?

Generally, yes, but you will be required to deposit coins to complete the 2-1-1 call.

Why won't 2-1-1 work from my office?

Generally, if your office has "phone extensions" or a private branch exchange (PBX), your telephone system will require programming for 2-1-1 access. Have your telephone system administrator contact the United Way 2-1-1 Director for instructions.

Are there other telephones that cannot access 2-1-1?

2-1-1 is generally an excluded service from hospitals, hotels, colleges, jails and any telephone where there is a separate charge for making a call.

Why am I getting a fast busy when I dial 2-1-1?

Telephones that are not yet programmed for 2-1-1 will produce either a "fast busy" or a "not in service" recording. If you hear either of these and are calling from an "active" 2-1-1 area, report the issue to United Way 2-1-1 Director. Do NOT call your local telecommunications provider first.

How do I report trouble accessing 2-1-1?

If your county is listed as "active" and you are still not able to access 2-1-1, contact United Way 2-1-1 Director. Please record the date and time of call, the telephone provider used to make the call and the location from which the call was made. Experience from 2-1-1 Centers around the country demonstrates that it will take many years to ensure 2-1-1 access for all citizens from all types of telephones.

Where is 2-1-1 available?

United Way 2-1-1 serves 9 south-central counties including: Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Lawarence, Orange, Scott, and Washington. 100% of all Hoosiers can receive service by dialing 2-1-1.

What does the system cost?

It is estimated that 2-1-1 costs communities an average of $1.50 per person for the area served. Your United Way gift helps support this critical service. United Ways in Indiana are a primary supporter of the Indiana 2-1-1 Partnership and IN211 Centers. All active IN211 Centers rely on United Way support and some receive up to 95 percent of their total annual budget from United Way contributions.

How many people use 2-1-1?

In 2012, United Way 2-1-1 took 13,176 calls. Most of the calls related to basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, and financial assistance for rent and utilities.

What is I&R?

Information and Referral (I&R) is the practice of bringing people and services together. When individuals, families and communities don't know where to turn, I&R is there for them.

There are thousands of I&R service agencies operated by non-profit and government organizations throughout the United States. These I&R services answer millions of calls annually. I&R services are responsible for connecting callers with opportunities to get and give help through more than 1.6 million health and human service providers, government agencies, and community-based service organizations in the United States.

I&R agencies maintain comprehensive databases of resources including federal, state, and local government agencies, private non-profit agencies, faith and community based organizations, schools, libraries and neighborhood and civic organizations. The comprehensive I&R agency often maintains this data for the specialized centers in the community and makes it available on the Internet, in other electronic forms, and through paper directories and handbooks.

I&R specialists are skilled professionals. They assess callers' needs and help the caller determine their options and the best course of action in a non-threatening, non-judgmental and confidential manner. Additionally, I&R specialists are trained to determine whether a caller may be eligible for other programs, to intervene in crisis situations, and to advocate on behalf of the caller who may need additional assistance.

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