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Knox County Social Service Organizations Get On Board With 211

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 222

Representatives from a number of different Knox County social service providers attended an informational meeting Tuesday on the new 211 program.
 The United Way of Knox County’s Executive Director Ann Tucker told those in attendance the basis behind the 211 program is simple: helping those who need help find the right services.

Galesburg High School Counselor Mindi Ritchie says she gets a number of calls from parents or students looking for places to contact for help regarding a variety of issues.

Ritchie tells WGIL this program will cut out the middle man and streamline the process.

“This simplifies the process and there isn’t so much time spent wondering where would the best linkage be,” says Ritchie.

Ritchie can tell her students, or parents, to call 211 where a trained specialist will gather as much information as needed and get them to the right place.

She says the program sounds amazing, but says she hopes the trained specialist will have some mental health training.

“There is a lot of need in all communities for mental health services so I’m hopeful they’ll anticipate those kind of calls and handle those effectively,” says Ritchie.

The 211 program should be up and running around August.