2-1-1 gets a green light in Oregon

United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley has been leading the charge for development of a 2-1-1 information phone system, and that drive got another boost with passage of HB3375.

The system, which is active in Yamhill County (“Yamhill 211”) and serves more than 65 percent of Oregonians in 10 counties, is planned for expansion to Marion and Polk counties (“Mid-Valley 211”) later this year.

The 2-1-1 is a “telephone service that provides referral information for emergency and health and human services,” the United Way says on its Web site. “211 is an easy-to-remember, toll–free phone number that connects callers with local community services such as food, shelter, counseling, employment assistance, elder care, legal help, and more.  During disaster, 211 provides critical information about evacuation routes, food and shelter, as well as support for long-term recovery.”

Two advocates for the statewide service wrote about the passage of the bill and the governor’s signature in The Oregonian. “While other bills may grab the headlines, as two longtime supporters of the 2-1-1 movement, we believe that passage of HB3375 is an accomplishment worth trumpeting and the goal of bringing 2-1-1 statewide worth achieving,” wrote John Tapogna and Mike Fieldman.

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