Nancy Szocinski, the 2-1-1 coordinator for United Way of the CSRA, said the site was modeled after United Way of Atlanta’s 211.org, the first of its kind.
Most United Ways are moving this direction, she said, so that as many questions as possible can be answered through searching the database.
The 2-1-1 phone line will still be available and is not going away, but Szocinski said by using the database first, callers will be able to have more specific questions and call times will be shorter.
“A lot of the time, people are not that sure of what they’re calling for,” she said. “At their leisure now, they can go through what is available and then make a call if necessary.”
The database can be searched by agency name or by keyword for a specific need, such as Red Cross or food pantry. It is also updated instantly as United Way of the CSRA learns of any changes in information or services offered.
“This will hopefully free up the phone line to keep turning over more calls,” Szocinski said. “We can help even more people.”