Callers Get Help Cutting Through The Maze Of Health & Human Services Agencies’ Phone Numbers & Get Connected To Help They Need
New City, NY (Sept. 12, 2017)  Rockland County Legislator Phil Soskin invites the public to attend an update on the 2-1-1 community information and referral services hotline. The presentation takes place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Legislature’s Chambers, 11 New Hempstead Road, in New City.
The 2-1-1 phone number serves as a shortcut through an often-bewildering maze of health and human service agencies’ phone numbers. People just dial 2-1-1 to get connected to their local call center.
The center’s referral specialists question callers, access databases of resources available from private and public health and human service agencies, match the callers’ needs to available resources, and link or refer them directly to an agency or organization that can help.
That can include everything from assistance for substance abuse to care for children or aging parents. In times of crisis, 2-1-1 can be a lifeline connecting individuals and families to the help they need.
Several experts have been invited to provide the update, which will take place during the Multi-Services Committee, which is chaired by Legislator Soskin. He wants to know how well the County has transitioned from its old 3-1-1 system to the 2-1-1 system.
Rockland County Department of Social Services Commissioner Joan Silvestri and United Way of Rockland County President and CEO Dana Treacy have confirmed they will attend, Soskin said. 
Rockland is served by the Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1, which is overseen by the Hudson Valley Region Collaborative. The Collaborative includes representatives of local United Way agencies in Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.
United Way of America has been working in partnership with the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, or AIRS, since the late 1990s to advance the nationwide rollout of 2-1-1, according to the Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1 website.
Dialing 211 helps the elderly, the disabled, those who do not speak English, those who are having a personal crisis, those who have limited reading skills, or those who are new to their communities, among others, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
2-1-1 reaches approximately 90 percent of the total U.S. population, the FCC says.

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