The 2-1-1 program is part of a national movement delivered by participating United Ways, local independent agencies and government programs. United Way of Larimer County’s 2-1-1 is a comprehensive directory of nearly 3,000 nonemergency health and human services available in the six counties it serves, including Larimer County. The toll free 2-1-1 hotline connects callers to trained referral specialists who can locate resources quickly for callers.

“This is a collaborative effort among six different 2-1-1 call centers in Colorado,” said Tracy Hays, director of United Way of Larimer County 2-1-1.

Hays said the six call centers officially went into the new service operation in December and most are seeing an increase in calls.

“While the No. 1 call we receive on a daily basis is from people seeking financial assistance for rent or utility bills, we’ve seen an increase in mental health, domestic violence, and shelter calls since we’ve gone 24/7,” Hays said.

United Way of Larimer County’s 2-1-1 call center handled about 4,000 calls in December 2009, and that number doubled to 8,000 in December 2010.

From the Coloradoan Website, 01/17/11