Mikulski Calls for 2-1-1 Community Help Line - Southern Maryland Headline News

Mikulski Calls for 2-1-1 Community Help Line

"This resource will help keep our communities connected and informed so that they can be safer, stronger and smarter."

WASHINGTON - Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined a bipartisan group of her Senate colleagues today to introduce the Calling for 2-1-1 Act (S. 211). The act calls for the implementation of an easy-to-remember 2-1-1 phone number that would connect people with important community services and volunteer opportunities.

"A 2-1-1 phone number will help people cut through government bureaucracy to easily access and understand news they can use -helplines, useful agencies and resources that are in place to assist people. Navigating through human service agencies can be confusing and overwhelming, but 2-1-1 will let everyone reach them with the touch of just three buttons," said Senator Mikulski. "This resource will help keep our communities connected and informed so that they can be safer, stronger and smarter."

The bill authorizes federal funding to assist states with implementing and sustaining 2-1-1 statewide. The number would offer callers information pertaining to:

* Basic Human Needs Resources, such as food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent and utility assistance.

* Physical and Mental Health Resources, such as health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, Children's Health Insurance Program, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention, and rehabilitation.

* Employment Supports, such as financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance and education programs.

* Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities, including adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation and homemaker services.

* Support for Children, Youth and Families, such as childcare, after school and Head Start programs, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring and protective services.

* Volunteer Opportunities and Donations.

The 2-1-1 Act now goes to the HELP Committee for consideration.

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