Reading the Summer 2010 copy of the American Educator I read that the United Way had established an easy to remember number, 2-1-1, that connects people to health and social services in their local communities. Currently it serves approximately 250 million Americans and is available in 46 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Trained personnel will answer and help callers determine what services they need, shelters, job training, housing options, food banks, and other supports.
I clicked on http://www.liveunited.org/211 I learned that United Way are encouraging people to contact their representatives and senators and ask for support for the 2-1-1 Act legislation. I also read that 2-1-1 has been available in some states since 2000. After the Katrina and Rita disasters in 2004 FEMA encouraged states to move forward with implementing 2-1-1 in all states.
I had never heard of this program. So I decided to do some additional research - I was doubly surprised to learn that Montana has this service available. I would encourage you to visit the United Way site and learn about this service and how it may benefit our communities.