TOLEDO, Ohio — A push is underway by the city of Toledo and the United Way to make sure you get the resources you need.
The long-term goal is for people to think of 2-1-1, the United Way hotline number, as a resource to call besides 9-1-1 if they are dealing with a non-emergency crisis and need help.
"The expansion of 2-1-1 is going to decrease the pressure on 9-1-1 services. 9-1-1 calls become very expensive," Toledo Director of Neighborhoods and Business Development Amy Sackman Odum said.
This is for everything from housing to disability services, transportation and legal help. The system already has a searchable database, but right now, there's no requirement for social services providers to be listed.
"We know that people are experiencing hardships.We want to make sure that when they call 2-1-1 to get the services they need for themselves and their families that we're honestly and accurately reflecting information that's available in our community," Jill Bunge, Director of Community Impact for the United Way of Greater Toledo said.
The United Way is not responsible for checking to see that the organizations are using funding properly. That remains the city's responsibility, but they will do an annual call to see if groups have added or changed services in any way.
"By supporting 2-1-1 it provides one place, a one stop shop for a variety of community services that are important to Toledo," Sackman Odum said.
This is all happening as the United Way is bringing it's 2-1-1 call center back to the Toledo area.
"We've just hired a new local 2-1-1 director who is hosted inside the United Way of Greater Toledo office, we have 10 call staff who are local Toledo residents who are answering calls," Bunge said.
The next step in the process is for this ordinance to be heard before full city council.