MIAMI COUNTY — United Way of Miami County is making progress on its 2-1-1 program, speaking with the Board of Miami County Commissioners on Thursday about its new vendor for the program and when United Way expects to have the program up and running.
Sean Ford, CEO of United Way of Miami County, and Richard Bender, CFO of United Way of Miami County, discussed with the commissioners how United Way will be working with HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties going forward on the 2-1-1 program, which will build, update, and maintain the resource directory to link people with available services. Ford explained HelpLine will be more cost effective than United Way’s previous source, United Way of Greater Cleveland, and will be providing 2-1-1 services at a cost of $50,000 for the first two years and then at a lower rate for subsequent years. They also plan on unrolling the 2-1-1 program in late spring or early summer in 2020.
“We have several organizations interested in sponsoring 2-1-1 in those years,” Ford said about the subsequent years. The commissioners approved county funding to be used for the first two years of the programs. “There are a lot of people who are very excited about this program … It’s going to have a huge impact on a lot of people.”
Ford explained that the 2-1-1 program will allow people in need of various social services — such as if they are homeless, in need of food, need help getting out of an abusive relationship, etc. — to call 2-1-1 and get connected with an agency in the county to help them. According to United Way of Miami County’s website, by calling 2-1-1, people can connect with a live person 24 hours a day who will help navigate the local nonprofit network, connect callers with the appropriate agency, and follow-up as needed. The 2-1-1 employees are specially trained to help with problem-solving and crisis intervention.
Ford said United Way of Miami County had previously hoped to roll out this program in January, but that goal was pushed back to the late spring due to the agency moving offices.
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