WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The critical local and statewide service 211, a telephone number that connects people to information about low-cost health and human services in the community, is in jeopardy of being lost unless residents take immediate action.
It reaches about 90 percent of the U.S. population, covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. It is free and confidential. Thanks to state aid last year, 211 was expanded to be made available to every resident across the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not include money for the 211 program in his budget this year. It is now up to the state Legislature to make 211 a part of their joint budget bill to save this valuable resource. In 2014, in the Hudson Valley Region, 211 received 41,629 calls and 55,150 web visits.
In Westchester and Putnam counties alone, it received nearly 18,000 calls for assistance. Operated by the United Way in Westchester and Putnam, the local 211 database has more than 25,000 resources for people needing help or answers in times of need and staff is trained to pre-qualify eligibility for many services.
In addition to providing comprehensive information and referral assistance, it connects residents to food pantries, housing assistance and shelters, elder care and mental health and substance abuse services. It also links people with disabilities, veterans and their families to support services, sets up earned income tax credit or health and pre-natal appointments, provides Westchester recycling information, recruits and pre-screens foster parents, fields domestic abuse and crisis calls, and provides up to the minute critical information during disasters and much more.
Please call your state representative and urge them to support the inclusion of continued aid for 211 in the state budget.
E-mail your legislators:
- Sen. Terrence Murphy (40) Murphy@nysenate.gov
- Sen. David Carlucci (38) email@example.com
- Sen.r Ruth Hassell-Thompson (36) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. George Latimer (37) email@example.com
- Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Jeffrey Klein (34) email@example.com
- Assemblyman David Buchwald (93) BuchwaldD@assembly.state.ny.us
- Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (95) GalefS@assembly.state.ny.us
- Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer (90) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Assemblyman Steven Otis (91) email@example.com
- Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (89) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (88) email@example.com
- Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti (92) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Assemblyman Steven Katz (94) email@example.com
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.