Ashland, OH, USA, Nov, 2019 -- Starting in January 2020, when Ashland residents don't know where to go for help, they can call 2-1-1 to speak with someone who can connect them to local resources.
Representatives of Samaritan Hospital Foundation, Associated Charities and First Call 211 of Richland County gathered at the University Hospital's Samaritan Administrative Services Building to announce the news and to share information on how the community can help build the needed resource database.
"We need people here to be our eyes and ears, to provide the initial resources for our database and then to communicate changes or updates," said Terry Carter, the information & referral coordinator for First Call 211 of Richland County.
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The Samaritan Hospital Foundation has stepped up to fund the program from January 2020 through the end of 2022 through an Ashland-based nonprofit, Associated Charities, which will then contract with First Call of Richland County.
This means when Ashland County residents call 211, they'll be sent to Richland County's call center, where they will be provided with Ashland County resources. Only Richland and Ashland County calls will managed from Richland. This type of collaboration with 211 call centers common in other places across the state.
"We want it to stay local," Carter said.
By January, an Ashland-specific website should be ready, too. It's expected to be housed on Associated Charities' website.
Earlier this year, Associated Charities had submitted and received approval of its Ohio AIRS 2-1-1 designation application to become the designated agency for 211 services in Ashland County, Ohio. Richland County's 211 services are operated under the umbrella of the Mansfield-Richland County Library. The organization is AIRS accredited, which means it can guarantee service availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and meets current AIRS Standards and Quality Indicators for Provision of Information and Referral.
"Our staff is trained to listen to not only the presented situation, but also are there other underlying issues or omitted information?" Carter said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Monday, November 25, 2019
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