United Way uses 211 to meet issues

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Each year, thousands of people in Rutherford and Cannon counties turn to United Way's 2-1-1 service for help.
In fact, from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, United Way's 2-1-1 service received 9,150 calls by need from Rutherford and Cannon counties alone. United Way's 2-1-1 service serves as an information and referral line for Rutherford and Cannon counties. The service consists of a directory of thousands of nonprofit organizations in middle Tennessee that offer support in a wide range of areas such as food, shelter, clothing and financial assistance.

While this service is used to meet community needs, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties has also found the service to be useful in another way. The local United Way, which is the sole provider of 2-1-1 to Rutherford and Cannon counties, receives regular reports detailing the calls made to 2-1-1, categorizing them by specific need and zip code.

Meagan Flippin, president of the local United Way, said, "The 2-1-1 data we receive provides information that is valuable when identifying trends and issues facing our community. We understand that every community is different and therefore the needs are different. United Way wants to be able to provide support and resources that will create sustainable change."

Most recently, 2-1-1 data revealed that housing and utility assistance were most frequently inquired about by callers. In fact, 3,149 calls were received in Rutherford County alone for housing and utility assistance from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. This number represents 35% of the total needs reported during this time frame.

The 2-1-1 service can also be used to identify issues by geographic area. For example, from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, zip code 37130 (downtown Murfreesboro) received 2,944 calls. Of these calls, 546 were pertaining to rent and utility assistance.

For more information about 2-1-1 or United Way www.yourlocaluw.org.

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