2-1-1 In the News
Mayor Purcell Helps Launch 2-1-1 in Middle Tennessee
New Number Simplifies Calls for Help, Volunteering
Metro Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, community leaders and area nonprofit organizations gathered today at AmSouth Center to place the first call to 2-1-1, a centralized telephone number that links callers with needs to more than 2,800 Middle Tennessee programs best suited to meet those needs.
In the same manner that 911 connects the caller to a central dispatch center that sends the appropriate emergency help, 2-1-1 provides a single point of contact for people who need help as well as people who have help to give. With the initiation of 2-1-1 service in Nashville, 1.4 million Middle Tennesseans in 11 surrounding counties will be able to call and get connected to health and human service resources based on their situation.
"2-1-1 is the result of a unprecedented level of partnership between agencies, United Ways throughout Middle Tennessee as well as local, state and federal governments," said Keith Herron, city president for AmSouth Bank, the program's lead corporate sponsor.
"Bringing all of these organizations together and
building the system has taken significant work on the
part of many people, but we've created something that
everyone in Middle Tennessee can use and depend on."
2-1-1 automatically offers callers the option of Spanish or English before connecting them to a Specialist. Additionally, 2-1-1 callers and Specialists can access tele-interpreters fluent in 150 other languages to assist in the discussion within 30 seconds of the call being placed.
"Need doesn't speak just one language. 2-1-1 allows us
to serve everyone who needs services," Koch said.
"Middle Tennessee's growing non-English-speaking
populations can access the same centralized, convenient
help and get the information and referrals they need
close to where they live."
"The database allows agencies to post their needs for
people and resources," said Desmond. "So when someone
calls with an offer to help, we can link them with the
agency that is most appropriate for the kind of help the
caller is looking to give."
"2-1-1 is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year long," said Lisa Chapman, CEO of the Crisis Center, the Nashville-based organization that, along with Murfreesboro's First Call for Help, will provide trained staff and infrastructure to handle the 66,000 calls expected in the service's first year of operations.
"2-1-1 serves everyone in Davidson County and the
surrounding 10 counties," Chapman added. "Someone in
Dickson or in Smyrna can access the services closest to
them with a single confidential call."
"United Way of Metropolitan Nashville worked to bring many of the partners to the table," said Koch. "The partnership that came out of that is really a model for how non-profits, for-profits and government can work together."
AmSouth Bank is 2-1-1's lead corporate sponsor, with the Frist Foundation funding the program's start-up costs. Additional financial support comes from the Memorial Foundation, the St. Thomas Foundation, First Tennessee Bank, Metropolitan Nashville Department of Health and eight Middle Tennessee-area United Ways from Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Robertson, Sumner, Wilson, Dickson and Cheatham counties.
Operating partners for 2-1-1 include Nashville's Crisis
Center, as well as First Call for Help (Rutherford
County) and the Family Center (Maury County).