2-1-1 In the News
Call goes out for FCC's '2-1-1' designation nationwide
During the month of July, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and other Tennessee United Ways (along with other 2-1-1 service providers and beneficiaries across the nation) is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) assignment of the phone number 2-1-1 for the purpose of providing community, volunteer, and human service information and referral.
Rallying along with dozens of communities across Tennessee and others nationwide, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville is encouraging stronger efforts and Federal funding to make 2-1-1 service available to all Americans.
2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember three-digit dialing system (similar to 9-1-1 and 4-1-1) that makes a simple buy critical connection between individuals and families seeking services or volunteer opportunities and the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies. It is a cost-effective answer to help the Middle Tennessee community navigate the complex and ever0-growing maze of human service agencies and programs.
2-1-1 was first launched by United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta in 1997, and in only five years since the FCC designation has grown to serve nearly 139 million Americans – over 47% of the U.S. population spread among 32 states and the District of Columbia.
2-1-1 was launched locally in August 2004 and serves the counties of Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Sumner, Wilson, Robertson, Dickson, Maury, Cannon, Trousdale, and Cheatham. To date, this Middle Tennessee community services help line has logged 54,591 calls; that number should reach 60,000 by year’s end. AmSouth Bank is the lead corporate sponsor for 2-1-1.
Start-up costs were funded by the Frist Foundation. Additional financial support comes from the Memorial Foundation, the Saint Thomas Foundation, First Tennessee Bank, Metropolitan Nashville Department of Health, blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and eight Middle Tennessee-area United Ways from Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Roberson, Sumner, Wilson, Dickson and Cheatham counties.
Operating partners for Middle Tennessee’s 2-1-1 system include Nashville’s Family and Children’s Services, as well as First Call for Help (Rutherford County) and the Family Center (Maury County).
“We are thrilled to mark the five-year anniversary of the creation of 2-1-1 by the FCC,” said Brian Gallagher, United Way of America president and CEO. “Over that period of time, millions of people have been directed to the right agency to help them get answers, solve their problems, or match them with important volunteer opportunities. However, until 2-1-1 is universally available nationwide, we must continue to aggressively support efforts in Congress to make that happen.”