During my many years as an injury lawyer in the Elmira, Corning, Ithaca area, I have long been frustrated by the fact that it’s very difficult for folks in need to know HOW and WHERE to get help. While our area of the Finger Lakes boast a number of local, state and federal programs to assist people in need, it’s often tough for people to figure out where they need to go to receive help in a particular area of need. Because of this difficulty, deserving folks often fail to get the help they need causing huge problems for themselves and their families.

I am very happy to report a tremendous new resource which directly addresses this problem– now you can simply dial 2-1-1 (just like you would a 9-1-1 call) and you will be automatically connected to a live human being who has been specially trained to assist you and steer you in the right direction.

My thanks to Steve Hughes of the United Way of the Southern Tier for bringing this great new program to my attention. And by the way, the local United Way was instrumental in bringing this program to our area so it’s just one more reason we should all support our local United Way!!

The details of the program are below.

Thanks for reading,

Jim Reed
NY Accident & Malpractice Lawyer

What is 2-1-1?

« A simple and easy-to-remember number to call when people need help or access to health and human services.

« Like 911, it easily and directly connects the caller to a local or regional call center. It is not an emergency service access point.

« The 2-1-1 call center provides direct personal assistance. After an interview with a caller to gain an understanding of specific needs, Information and Referral Specialists provide the caller with detailed information about and referral to appropriate agencies, programs and services.

« It is a 24-hour, multi-lingual service so people get help and information when they need it.

This free, confidential three digit phone number, available 24 hours a day, everyday, connects you to a local call center with specialists trained to provide you information and referrals to human services that best address your needs.

Trained call counselors help you find answers to non-emergency questions by directing you to the most appropriate service providers for your needs. 2-1-1 offers referrals for emergency food, shelter, clothing, crisis counseling, substance abuse issues, employment, financial and legal issues, physical and mental health needs, and more. If you need help, just ask! Call 2-1-1 or 1-877-FLNY2-1-1 (1-877-356-9211), accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays, with Spanish-speaking call counselors and Language Line Translation Services available.

2-1-1 of the Finger Lakes Region, NY, encompassing a 12 county area, is made possible through the joint efforts of the 2-1-1 Finger Lakes Collaborative. Led by United Way of the Southern Tier, additional partners of the collaborative include: the Institute for Human Services, United Way of Greater Rochester, LIFE LINE/ABVI-Goodwill, the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, United Way of Cayuga County, United Way of Seneca County, and others. This coordinated effort throughout the region will mean more efficient delivery of services to people who don’t know where to turn. It’s fast, confidential, multi-lingual, and comprehensive. Whether it’s mental health issues, crisis counseling, emergency food, shelter, clothing, or some other human service question, 2-1-1 has the answers.