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United Way of Long Island Recognizes 2-1-1 Day on February 11

Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan recently met with representatives from 2-1-1 Long Island to discuss the importance of this free and confidential resource that provides crucial information to Long Islanders in need of assistance.   

2-1-1 Long Island is a partnership between United Way of Long Island and Middle Country Public Library. The Call Center is staffed by trained information specialists seven days a week who connect callers to critical resources such as shelter, food or utilities, as well as non-emergency services including job training, counseling, and education. Call Center services are offered bi-lingual in Spanish and translation is available in more than 200 languages. 2-1-1’s searchable online database includes detailed information on nearly 10,000 nonprofit and governmental programs.

“It was great to welcome the United Way of Long Island along with representatives of the Middle Country Public Library to my office recently to discuss 2-1-1 Long Island.  This joint initiative provides struggling families in our community easy access to the information and services they need at the time they need it the most.  That is beneficial to our entire community and I applaud everyone involved for their efforts,” stated Senator Flanagan.

“Long Island offers a wide array of quality health and human service programs to its residents, but many times people don’t know where to begin searching for help,” said Elizabeth Eberhardt, 2-1-1 Long Island coordinator at United Way of Long Island.  “When someone is struggling, they deserve a quick and efficient process to find assistance.  2-1-1 Long Island drastically simplifies the process of putting a wealth of resource information in one easily accessible place with one easy-to-remember number to call.”

“The Middle County Public Library is proud to partner with United Way of Long Island on the 2-1-1 initiative.  It’s imperative for Long Islanders to have access to these much needed resources in their daily lives and during times of crisis,” added Sophia Serlis-McPhillips, Director of Middle Country Public Library.

Access to these services is critical to individuals and families who fall under the ALICE category. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These families are working, but struggle to afford the basic necessities. More than 267,000 households on Long Island fall below the ALICE threshold budget for survival ($80,940 in Nassau County and $90,324 in Suffolk County for a home with two adults, one infant and one preschooler).

In 2016, the 2-1-1 Call Center received more than 10,500 calls, in addition to nearly 400,000 visits to 211LongIsland.org.

2-1-1 Long Island’s emergency preparedness and recovery resources expanded in 2016 with the launch of BeReadyLI.org, which compiles information that helps Long Islanders be prepared before, during, and after disasters.

For assistance or for more information call 2-1-1 (888-774-7633) Mon-Sat. 9-5; Sun. 12-4 or visit www.211LongIsland.org.

Photo caption: Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan meets with (l to r) United Way representatives Devera Lynn, vice president of marketing and Elizabeth Eberhardt, 2-1-1 Long Island coordinator and from the Middle Country Public Library Lori Abbatepaolo, Librarian & 2-1-1 Database Coordinator and Sophia Serlis-McPhillips, Library Director.