(Southern Kentucky) – In celebration of National 2-1-1 Day on 2-11-18, United Way of Southern Kentucky is asking for your help to shine a light on Southern Kentucky’s 2-1-1 services that are available to all residents across the 10-county BRADD region.

2-1-1 is a powerful resource for help and hope in our community. The Federal Communications Commission assigned 2-1-1 as a three-digit telephone number for the purpose of providing quick and easy access to information about health and human services. Contact Specialists work with callers to assess their needs and provide appropriate information and referral services that can offer assistance and/or intervene in crisis situations. Instead of multiple calls, by simply dialing 2-1-1, a trained specialist can identify a caller’s full scope of needs and provide agency information and referrals that can offer assistance.

Prior to establishing the Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 Contact Center on July 18, 2016, Kentucky was one of only three states with less than 43% 2-1-1 coverage. However, through United Way of Southern Kentucky’s efforts, the Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 Contact Center expanded Kentucky’s 2-1-1 reach to 63%.  Today, more Kentucky residents can talk with a compassionate Contact Specialist who can provide information and referrals that assist families and impact communities, one phone call at a time. In real time, callers receive service provider information concerning utilities, housing, food, transportation, support services for an aging parent, where to find help for addiction, mental health issues, and much more. 2-1-1 is the place to call when you don’t know where to go for help when you need it. As of July 2017, the Contact Center is taking calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It is the intent of the center to expand channels of communication that will include web chat and texting in the upcoming year.

2-1-1 also serves as a sociological barometer for service providers, funders, and other stakeholders within the community by identifying community needs.  While personal identifiers of callers are kept confidential, the demographic data that is collected assists with improvements to the human services delivery system as a whole.

2-1-1 also assists during times of disaster, providing critical information about evacuation routes, food and shelter. 2-1-1 is a powerful resource for our communities and assists callers of all ages and circumstances including families, parents, seniors, veterans, and low-income individuals.

2-1-1 is core to the mission of United Way and an integral component to community impact. United Way of Southern Kentucky decided to bring 2-1-1 to Southern Kentucky after an extensive community research project and discovered that people don’t know where to go for help when they need it.

Since its inception, Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 has received over 10,500 calls from residents seeking assistance with utilities, housing, food, transportation, and many other social service needs.

In honor of National 2-1-1 Day on 2-11-18, the Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 Contact Center asks that individuals across Southern Kentucky help celebrate by spreading the word about the 2-1-1 services available in our area via social media and/or within your organizations, companies and businesses. Materials to assist can be downloaded at

“2-1-1 Contact Centers offer direction for individuals and families needing assistance.  It is our intent to continue United Way of Southern Kentucky’s efforts by providing accurate information and referral services to residents of Southern Kentucky during times of need and/or crisis.  Therefore, whether you are caring for an aging parent, struggling to make ends meet, searching for mental health support or confused about government benefits, Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 can help you navigate where to go and or who to call for assistance,” says Christine Dressler, 2-1-1 Contact Center Director.

For more information about Southern Kentucky 2-1-1, log on to the Southern Kentucky website at  

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that works to identify and address the issues that matter most, change conditions and improve lives. The mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky is to be the leader in bringing together the resources to build a stronger, more caring community. United Way is focused on the building blocks for good quality of life – Education, Income, Health and Safety Net. Therefore, the vision of United Way is a Southern Kentucky where all residents are educated, healthy, and financially stable. Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, UWSK has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work.