211 Assistance

By: Jessica Aspiras Email
By: Jessica Aspiras Email

The Jackson County 211 call center is manned by handful of people 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's a referral service offering the community free access to health and human services.

"Anything from you're looking to find shelter for the evening, sometimes long-term housing, if you have a bill you can't pay, like a utility shut off or a rent eviction," says Brenna Wheeler of the Jackson County 211 Call Center.

211 is a nationwide program started by the United Way ten years ago.

"Consumers don't have to call around and most consumers if they don't get the help they need three, four, five places they quit calling around and assume the help's not out there when the help might have been right next door," says Ken Toll of the United Way of Jackson County.

Jackson County's service has been around for more than two years. And on Tuesday the tri-county area joined in a partnership.

"Finally people have a number to call to get what they need," says Wheeler.

Though the referral service is now available in the tri-county area, any call made to 211 will still be connected to the Jackson County call center.

"Right now we've been getting 15,000 to 16,000 calls a year just in Jackson County. We're guessing with the capitol area, with Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham additions, we might be somewhere around 40,000 a year," says Wheeler.

211 does not work from cell phones or pay phones. But you can call the toll free number 1-866-561-2500 to get in touch with the service.

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