The free 2-1-1 service that provides information to Athens County residents on local programs and services in the area is no longer only available over the phone.
United Appeal for Athens County and the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services announced today that the free 24-hour phone service is now providing information on the web. The new website provides free access to information on more than 200 agencies and 1,500 services.
Pam Harvey, executive director of United Appeals, explained that the web service will be particularly useful for people who wish to find information without having to write down a lot of details over the telephone. "Someone who wants to browse volunteering opportunities can use www.211athenscounty.org and print lists of the resources they find," Harvey said.
Director of ACJFS Jack Frech said that the 2-1-1 website was launched to ensure that the service is useful to all residents throughout the county, regardless of their individual needs. "This is really for the whole community and as you can see, you know, they have volunteer opportunities on here---all kinds of things that aren't necessarily related to poverty or welfare or what we do [at the department of Job and Family Services]," he said.
While the 2-1-1 service is now online, the phone service will continue to operate in conjunction with the website. Frech acknowledged the importance of maintaining the phone service to cater to residents without access to the Internet. "We've always recognized that it's a struggle for low income families to have access to computers. We know this is going to be a problem," he said. The 2-1-1 service was launched in Athens County in February of 2011.
Athens County is one of 53 counties in Ohio to offer the information service.