211 service phone number to expand

Middle Tennesseans can simply dial 2-1-1 to find volunteer opportunities, find an after school program, or be connected to an agency or crisis line, but around 22 rural counties still lack the service.

United Way and the Tennessee Alliance of Information and Referral Systems hoped to reach border to border 211 coverage last month, but have been facing setbacks due to delayed funding and technical issues.

Tennessee 211 director Doug Fluegel says they are not discouraged and will continue to push towards their goal because of the importance of state-wide coverage.

“There were two studies, one was done in Nebraska and the other was done in Texas, both of those were done by the university systems in those states, that showed that people, when they were trying to find help, called 7 to 9 different phone numbers before finding the right agency and then many of them just gave up.”

Fluegel says their new target date for expanding to all 95 counties is late this month, which would make Tennessee among the first southeastern sates to reach full 211 coverage, and the 17th state nationally.

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