United Way to change 2-1-1

May 31, 2018

BY CAROLINE EGGERS - ceggers@perutribune.com

Individuals seeking information regarding human services in Miami County can now access what they’re looking for online, according to United Way of Miami County Executive Director Debi Wallick.

In May, the United Way of Howard County decided to no longer answer calls made from its participating neighborhoods – including Miami County – to Indiana 2-1-1, which is the statewide, 24/7 phone line that provides human services information and referrals.

The United Way of Miami County Board of Directors halted funding to Howard County’s chapter of Indiana 2-1-1 and opened up a different option.

They added all of the information to the City of Peru’s online site, www.cityofperu.org, under the ‘Our Residents’ tab.

This information set provides the hours, local contacts and details on services for all of Miami County’s agencies, such as Salvation Army.

In turn, United Way will be able to track the data on what area residents need through Charity Tracker, a program that links users to a network of basic needs providers.

“We’re going to be able to identify what our unmet needs are in the community,” Wallick said.

For the last ten years, all Miami County residents’ calls were directly routed to United Way of Howard County 2-1-1, which provided United Way of Miami County with analytical data on “what the main concern of Miami County was,” such as transportation assistance or access to food pantries, according to Wallick.

Miami County residents can still dial 2-1-1, 866-211-9966 or 765-868-4133 at any time and receive information and referral services. All future 2-1-1 calls will be redirected to an Indianapolis agent.

Wallick wants residents to first know that they can easily utilize the city website and access the information locally.

To add or update resources, email Debi Wallick at debiw@uwmiamip.org, or Antonia Sawyer, at asawyer@fourcounty.org.

“This has been coming to fruition for a while,” Wallick said. “(Howard County) has done a wonderful job to help us service Miami County.”

The decision will take effect on July 1.