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United Way In the News

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Whether it’s food for your family, parenting classes, addiction treatment or counseling services you need, 211 can help.  The 211 service, offered through the Helpline Center has proven to be a valuable asset to the greater Yankton community.  Since it became available to Yankton and Bon Homme County residents in February of 2014, 211 has received more than 1,600 calls and over 500 web searches of the online resource database.  The most common needs from callers included basic needs such as food, shelter and utility assistance.  There were also a significant number of calls for health care and mental health related needs.  In 2016, contacts were received from individuals ranging in age from 12 to 98 years of age.

Last year, Helpline Center launched texting as a feature to connect individuals to resources in the Yankton community. All residents in 211 service areas may text their zip code to 898211. The text message will be answered by a trained Helpline Specialist.  211 is an easy way to connect people who have simple questions or need serious help to non-profit, social service and government agencies. Anyone can use 211 to find quality information in a confidential and convenient way.

The Helpline Center has operated the 211 Helpline since 2001 answering over 46,000 calls, texts, and emails each year. The 211 Helpline allows residents to avoid spending time looking for resources or making multiple calls to find appropriate support. Callers can call or text for information on where to find food, where to go for a government questions, or where to get help for a loved one’s addiction among many other questions and needs.

In addition to the 24/7 service to assist individuals, the 211 Helpline provides assistance to the emergency management team. During times of disaster, the 211 Helpline is available for the emergency management team to assist with response and recovery. In 2016, Paul Schlerschligt, Yankton County Emergency Manager, partnered with the Helpline Center to provide text messages on emergency management news and alerts throughout the year. If you are interested in receiving text messages from Yankton County Emergency Management, text YCOEM to 898211. Since the launch in the fall of 2016, 205 individuals have joined the group to receive the messages.

The Helpline Center operates 211 in 16 counties in South Dakota. Clay County is the 16th county to launch 211 on February 11, 2017. Other South Dakota counties with access to 211 services include: Beadle, Bon Homme, Brookings, Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lake, Lawrence, Lincoln, McCook, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington, Turner, and Yankton.

211 is free, confidential, and the service is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. 

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