Celebrating Vital Services Available to CNY on 2-1-1 Day

Originally posted on Newschannel 9/Local SYR
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February 11, has more meaning than one might think. The day, when digitally referenced, can also be referred to a celebration of the numbers that connect people to vital services in the Central New York community.

2-1-1 of CNY is a free and confidential service that helps people across the country find local resources that they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Together with The United Way of Central New York, they’re working to help people whenever they need it.

United Way of CNY President, Nancy Kern Eaton says the organization is proud to coordinate mainly because of the incredible way that it can connect people to the services that they need.

“…Mayor Ben Walsh has said that we want to be a community that calls 2-1-1 not 9-1-1, so it really is 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she says. “We are trying to reach folks where they are and make services and access to information available,” she adds.

People in the community call 2-1-1 for a wide range of services, Program Manager Katie Lemery White says. From basic human needs, to physical and mental health resources, employment support and even family services, they offer a wide range of support for people. And this year, they’re also helping people in a new way.

“Right now we are actually getting a lot of calls from people looking for help preparing their taxes, because it is tax season as we all know and this year for the first time 2-1-1 is helping to schedule free tax appointments for people who are in a certain income guideline,” she adds.

2-1-1 also works with other organizations who are on the ground making an impact on the streets. John Tumino is the co-founder of In My Father’s Kitchen and he says that on any given night, if someone is concerned about another person on the street, he can easily be dispatched to that location to try to help an individual who may need it.

“The great thing for us though and working with the folks that we work with outside and the folks that we’ve gotten housed is that sometimes they need other things and then I direct them to 2-1-1 and they can guide them to where they need to go,” Tumino says.

2-1-1 is free and available to anyone who needs it in the Central New York Community. To learn more about how they can help you, call 211 or visit 211.org. You can also text your zip code to 898211 to learn more via text message.



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