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News : 211 Helpline Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Tulsa, OK, USA, Aug 20, 2015 -- Since the phone rang for the first time on July 11, 2005, the 211 Helpline has answered more than 1 million calls. Those calls have resulted in more than 2 million questions answered.
On Wednesday, the helpline, which takes calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week from people seeking assistance from health and human services agencies, celebrated 10 years of operation.
"This is fantastic," said Jim Lyall, associate director for the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa, which runs the helpline. "I’m just so proud of this program which has helped over a million callers by connecting them to millions of services."
When the agency started, backed in part by a venture grant from the Tulsa Area United Way, the expectation was that it would see about 30 percent growth in volume.
The first two years saw back-to-back growth of 100 percent, Lyall said.
To help meet the demand, a greater emphasis has been placed on contacts and referrals through the helpline’s website. Last year the 211 Helpline saw 150,000 calls and web contacts.
"I would say 211 is the most valuable and taken-for-granted piece of capacity of helping people, not just in our community but our whole state, and it’s really kind of a shame in a way because there is so much more opportunity to grow and do and to help … but we need additional resources and support to help because the needs are growing so tremendously," said Phil Dessauer, executive director of the Community Service Council.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa:
Provides leadership for community-based planning and action to address the human service needs of people in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.
Published: Thursday, August 20, 2015