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General News

2-1-1 Seeks State Support

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Walter Stoneburner
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/waltstoneburner/

An Indiana phone program that helps connect Hoosiers with essential services will be asking for state support this legislative session.   

The 2-1-1 program went live in 2004, and since then it has been run primarily with philanthropic dollars.  On Thursday, lawmakers and a nonprofit coalition announced plans to file a proposal to fund the information and referral service with help from the state.  

Vice President of Public Policy for United Way of Central Indiana, Andrew Cullen says that 2-1-1 has become an essential service. 

"The last year alone we've estimated that nearly 1-in-10 Hoosiers called 2-1-1 for help in some way and there are just a wide variety of issues that 2-1-1 helps Hoosiers with,"  says Cullen.

Some of those issues include health care advice, domestic abuse services, referrals for veterans and disaster coordination.   Cullen says government agencies like the State Department of Health and 911 are increasingly using the service in daily operations.  

The proposal will ask for funding at around $3.5 million.  Philanthropic money will also continue to support the service.