Lutheran Health Network Makes Major Investment in United Way’s 2-1-1
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (April 23, 2012) – The Lutheran Health Network is making a $100,000 investment in United Way’s 2-1-1 service, United Way of Allen County CEO Todd Stephenson announced today.
“United Way helps address many needs in the community, including food, housing, child care and more,” said Todd Stephenson, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County. “Unfortunately, there are never enough resources to help meet all the needs, so this considerable gift is greatly appreciated. It demonstrates the Lutheran Health Network’s deep commitment to northeast Indiana and its residents.”
“We are always looking to work with like-minded organizations to make our communities better and this opportunity to help United Way of Allen County’s 211 service fits perfectly with our mission,” said Joe Dorko, president and CEO of Lutheran Health Network. “Northeastern Indiana is fortunate that many organizations are willing to stand together and devote vital resources to help individuals who are in the greatest need. The 2-1-1 service is one of the best tools we have to assist residents in making these important connections and we are happy to play a role in that process.”
2-1-1 is a national dialing code for free access to health and human service information and referral. By dialing the three simple numbers of 2-1-1, most northeast Indiana residents can get free, confidential, and 24-hour information about as many at 2,000 local social services, such as housing, shelter, food, legal aid, clothing, counseling, utility assistance, health care, transportation and more. Specifically, 2-1-1 does the following:
• provides information and referrals to more than 40,000 northeast Indiana callers annually;
• connects residents to vital services such as food and shelter;
• plays a critical role in connecting homeless people to shelter; and
• coordinates social services and volunteers during a time of disaster such as a flood.
“2-1-1 is a little like a help desk for the region’s social service agencies,” said Chris Sosebee of Weigand Construction and the chairperson of the 2-1-1 Advisory Cabinet. “For example, call specialists now conduct thousands of in-depth housing assessments for the homeless or near-homeless each year. A trained 2-1-1 housing specialist then works closely with local shelters and agencies to ensure services are available to stabilize the individual and get them on the road to independence.”
Last year, United Way’s 2-1-1 service saw a two percent increase in calls; in 2011, 2-1-1 answered 44,271 calls, compared with 43,229 calls in 2010. Since 2004 (the first full year of 2-1-1 service), the call volume has grown a tremendous 118 percent, from 20,339 to 44,271.
United Way of Allen County operates the Northeast Indiana 2-1-1 Call Center, which provides service to the following ten Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.