Regional Help Line Celebrates Two Years, 50K Calls

By Kelly McCarthy

February 12, 2013 Updated Feb 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The 211 Help Line has answered the bell more than 55,000 times for those in non-emergency situations.

The Susquehanna Region call center serves Broome, Tioga and Chenango counties.

The regional call center celebrates its the two-year anniversary this month.

"If you look at a graph over the past four, five years the graph is just continuing to go up. So the population is becoming more and more aware of 211 and its existence, and they're using it more," said United Way of Broome County Executive Director Alan Hertel. "So that tells me that it's something people want and want to use."

Many of the calls to 211 area pertain to basic human needs like food, clothing and shelter.

"By calling 211 you're going to get directed where you need to go the first time as opposed to calling four, five or six different organizations, agencies and government entities, until you get to the point you need to be," Hertel said. "We can help you eliminate the searching process."

There are eight regional 211 call centers that cover more than 90 percent of New York State.

The United Way of Broome County is working on expanding its coverage to Otsego and Delaware counties.