A service that provides information on a wide variety of issues and played a major role in keeping the flow of information going between authorities and the public during the early days of the COVID pandemic is getting a financial boost from New York State.

Kathy Whyte. WNBF News
Kathy Whyte. WNBF News

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo is announcing the United Way’s 211 Susquehanna River Region helpline is getting a $750,000 increase in funding this year.

The service is operated 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week with live operators answering questions and providing information to anyone who dials 211 or goes online at www.helpme211.org.

The new allocation from New York State comes to $2-million.  Lupardo says during the budget negotiations she became aware of the huge jump in call volume to 211 services across the state with the helplines serving as a primary source of information on food, housing, mental health, transportation, medical and other services during quarantine.

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In early March 2020, the Susquehanna River Region was activated as a back-up emergency response by the Broome County Office of Emergency Services and fielded nearly 74,000 calls. That’s a 46% call volume increase.

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