2-1-1 is a vital service in our state. Unfortunately, the state Senate failed to allocate any funds to keep this program alive. I was pleased to see The News Tribune call for the Senate to fund 2-1-1 (editorial, 4-16).
South Sound 2-1-1 served nearly 80,000 people in 2014. Many callers had children under 5 in the home. It provides an instant, efficient and effective connection to the a real person who can connect a caller in need to an existing service. 2-1-1 offers interpreter services, helps people with basic food needs, connects callers to transportation, provides tax assistance resources and serves military families with on and off-base services.
Without 2-1-1, people in need would be faced with trying to navigate available services on their own and many needs would go unmet and existing services unused.
The Senate must support the $1 million allocated to 2-1-1 in the House budget when the final state budget is negotiated. Without state funding, there is no 2-1-1 and most 2-1-1 call centers would also have to close their doors.