2-1-1 service offers free information

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt and Curry county residents seeking assistance can turn to a free phone service to help guide them to the proper resources.

The 2-1-1 system is a service being provided by United Way of Eastern New Mexico. Callers to the number are connected to the proper organizations for help. Information also is provided for those who wish to volunteer or donate to the agencies, said Christine Caldwell, assistant director of United Way.

“It’s a central comprehensive information line for non-emergency referral,” Caldwell said.

Working with local phone companies, United Way implemented the 2-1-1 system in August and worked out bugs the following months. Caldwell said the system has been helpful in the wake of the March 23 tornado that hit eastern New Mexico.

Capt. Tammy Ray of the Salvation Army said the system offers an alternative to help those who may not know where to go for assistance.

The system can also relieve what could be a stressful time for a person who is not sure where to go or who to turn to for help, Ray said.

“It’s just more helpful to the client,” Ray said.

For cell phone callers, the number is 985-0211, Caldwell said. That number may also be used in the event the 2-1-1 extension doesn’t work with a phone service.