Omaha Public Radio News
3:31 pm
Wed November 23, 2011

Basic needs call rise to 2-1-1 Call Center

Omaha, NE – Third quarter statistics for the 2-1-1 Call Center showed an increase in areas of need in Nebraska and Southwest Iowa.

Karen Brickelmyer is the President and CEO of the United Way of the Midlands. She says the 2-1-1 line is a source for information, with the goal of connecting individuals who have needs with service providers in the community.

Brickelmyer says sometimes these may be services or agencies that callers may not know exist. Omaha's 2-1-1 call center serves callers in the state as well as those in western Iowa. Brickelmyer explains the third quarter increase.

"Partially attributable to the floods and people in our community facing challenges resulting from that. But also, the economy and the fact that individuals in our community are still struggling with meeting basic needs, so they are reaching out to find resources. And one way to do that is to call our 2-1-1 phone service."

Brickelmyer says the biggest areas of need in the third quarter were food, shelter and utility assistance. The 2-1-1 line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.