2-1-1 Day spreads the word about a free social services hotline

HARRISON COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - Kaylee Ritter works the day shift answering calls. It’s part of her role as community resource specialist with LifeBridge AmeriCorps and United Way.

She helps monitor the 24-7 hotline 2-1-1, a social service helping connect us to vital resources.

"A lot of people aren't aware of the services that are out there to help them with things like paying their bills or low cost medical assistance," Ritter said

But 2-1-1 can be accessed by more than just a phone.

"Some people want that personal touch of a phone call rather than just a search, but some people don't" Ritter said "So we do offer chat and text resources, you can text 2-1-1 and reach us based on what county you're in or there's a chat online,"

2-1-1 operators take calls and messages anonymously and for free, the goal being to make it as easy as possible for anyone in need to take the first step towards getting help.

While Ritter helps answer calls from Harrison and Doddridge, others answer at 2-1-1 centers across the state.

And not only are they trying to spread the word about the hotline's existence, 2-1-1 is also looking for more resources to add to their data base.

"We're always double checking resources and looking for new agencies that we weren't aware of, or updating requirements for agencies," Ritter said

And so far, the outreach is working.

"Call volume has slowly picked up, so people are learning- people are figuring it out and getting connected to the help they need,"