2-1-1 is not just a service provided here in Southeast Alabama. The implementation of 2-1-1 is spearheaded by United Ways and information and referral agencies in states and local communities.
In 2011, 2-1-1 services in the United States answered more than 16.6 million calls. 2-1-1 reaches approximately 270 million people (90% of the total U.S. population) covering all 50 states (including 41 states with 90%+ coverage), the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Here in Alabama we have 100% coverage. Residents in all 67 Alabama counties can dial 2-1-1 and reach a live operator 24/7.
During our previous fiscal year, Duke said 73% of the homeless population contacting 2-1-1 for assistance were individual women, women with children, & families. Food and assistance with healthcare ranked 2 and 3 last year for services requested.
Since its inception in July of 2008, WUW 2-1-1 has provided almost 95,000 resource referrals for Wiregrass callers needing assistance and maintains a 98.8% of callers stating that would recommend 2-1-1 to others needing assistance. When callers are asked how they heard about 2-1-1, the number one response is they have called before. Being referred from another social service agency or friend/relative follow as the next two reasons for dialing 2-1-1. These three reasons alone account for 83% of the total responses.
Duke went on to say, we do whatever we can to help callers but sometimes there are no resources available to assist for services such as rental deposits for housing, utilities deposits, and motel vouchers for the homeless who have no other place to go. We will continue to seek out resources for those who need us most in our local communities.