United Way Alliance embraces 2-1-1 program

PARKERSBURG – The 2-1-1 hotline previously in the Volunteer Action Center will be relocated to the United Way Alliance office, officials said.

The 2-1-1 hotline is an essential community service connecting people with vital resources, according to Joyce Mather, executive director of the United Way.

The Volunteer Action Center closed effective April 30 on Market Street.

“Following the closure of the Volunteer Action Center and since this program had previously received United Way funding, the United Way Alliance board felt it was critical to embrace the continuance of the 2-1-1 hotline,” Mather said. “We’re happy to have the 2-1-1 hotline housed in our office as it is a wonderful tool that we’ll use to serve folks seeking a multitude of programs and services.

The 2-1-1 hotline connects the caller to a trained information and referral specialist who directs the caller to an agency that can help. In addition to helping people, data gathered from the 2-1-1 system could be beneficial for officials analyzing and addressing the Mid-Ohio Valley’s most pressing needs.

“Relocating the 2-1-1 hotline to the United Way Alliance office was a perfect fit,” said Brenda Myers, office assistant. “We are already receiving multiple calls every day from people looking for food pantries, utility assistance and other basic essentials, so 2-1-1 will compliment the United Way Alliance network.”

Spearheaded by United Ways across the country, the 2-1-1 network is in partnership with the Alliance of Information and Referral System serving most of the 50 states.

“West Virginia was the eighth state in the nation to implement 2-1-1 and Ohio is currently in the process of implementing it in our area,” Mather said.