For Immediate Release
Help is now available 24/7 to residents across the Bluegrass looking for information or assistance with health and human services.
Lexington, KY – October 21, 2016 - United Way of the Bluegrass has expanded the hours of its 2-1-1 Contact Center, which currently offers service to residents in Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Montgomery, Nicholas, Powell, Scott, and Woodford counties. Residents in these counties can now dial 2-1-1 at any time – day or night, weekday or weekend, to speak with a trained 2-1-1 Navigator.
2-1-1 connects residents with local agencies and programs offering assistance in various areas including health care, aging services, shelter, food, utility assistance, Veterans services and much more.
United Way of the Bluegrass officially made the move for its 2-1-1 Contact Center to offer 24/7 service in August. In addition to calling 2-1-1, people can search for available resources online at www.uwbg211.org, and can even download an app for Apple or Android devices. A new texting service is also an option on the enhanced platform, allowing those who prefer to communicate via mobile devices to text their 5-digit zip code to 898211 for assistance.
Polly Lloyd Ruddick, Director of 2-1-1 Development and Operations said the expansion of services was important in helping to make the center’s resources accessible to more people, any time or day of the week. “Oftentimes people can’t easily access a phone during working hours or don’t feel comfortable doing so on the clock,” Ruddick said. “Having the 2-1-1 service up and running 24/7 makes it even more accessible and available to those who need help the most.”
The online, searchable database includes thousands of local programs and services, with categories like food, housing, clothing, utilities and health care for each county. The mobile version of the website also allows case workers and others to access information about services right form their mobile devices. The 2-1-1 team is working with agencies and programs across its service area to expand the database and ensure that resources are updated accordingly, Ruddick said.
Bill Farmer, President and CEO of United Way of the Bluegrass, says that residents who have used or rely on the 2-1-1 service understand its impact. “People are able to call for quick, reliable information. Our ‘Navigators’ are trained specialists that help guide people through the maze of health and human services. Our region is rich with resources, but the process can be overwhelming for someone who has multiple needs and doesn’t know where to start. 2-1-1 can help.”
Last year, 2-1-1 answered more than 15,000 calls and received over 3,000 incoming text messages for assistance. There were over 3,200 unique visitors to uwbg211.org and nearly 1,000 people downloaded the UWBG 2-1-1 application to a mobile device.
About United Way of the Bluegrass:
United Way of the Bluegrass is a leader and motivator of change for long-terms solutions for Central Kentucky communities. We have a bold goal that together, we will increase the number of self-sufficient families by 10,000 before 2020. United Way has committed to four key drivers of success for community and economic success: basic needs, school readiness, student success and financial stability. Systems have been developed to evaluate the quality and success of programs supported by UWBG, so investors can be assured that dollars will have maximum impact on the community. For more information, visit www.uwbg.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UnitedWayOfTheBluegrass.
Vice President, Marketing / United Way of the Bluegrass
859.351.8567 / Katie.Williams@uwbg.org