211 line is right call for county

Published 12:17 am Sunday, June 9, 2013

Citizens know to call 911 in case of an emergency. Hopefully soon they will think to call 211 long before a situation gets to that point.

The United Way of the River Cities will launch Lawrence County’s new information hotline at a kickoff event at 1 p.m. Tuesday at South Point High School.

The 211 system is a free resource established as an easy to remember telephone number that connects people with available community resources. The goal is to simply make it easier for citizens to find the help they need in a variety of areas that include: basic human services, physical and mental health resources, medical information, employment support services, support for seniors and persons with disabilities, programs for families, volunteer opportunities, donation needs, support for community crisis or disaster recovery and much more.

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At least 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties offer a 211 system — operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week — that can provide answers from trained staff.

The United Way and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services are providing the funding and leadership to get this off the ground. At some point Lawrence County will have to rise to the challenge to foot the bill.

As long as residents are using this system to find the services needed, it will be money well spent.