Posted on February 24, 2020
A new partnership is expanding the popular 2-1-1 referral service into two Toledo Lucas County Public Library locations. Representatives from the United Way of Greater Toledo program will conduct monthly on-site sessions, personalizing their assistance for Library customers’ needs.
The 2-1-1 service is a 24-hour phone line that links callers with area resources, such as meals and housing. In this Library program, the United Way establishes a visible location for caller requests while also meeting customers as they visit the Library.
The Library and United Way share a mission of connecting community members with the best resources.
Community resource advisors will be stationed on Main Library’s first floor starting March 3, and in the Heatherdowns Branch beginning Feb. 25. The advisors are trained health and human service referral professionals. Regional Manager Meg Delaney said they will provide further assistance through the Library’s accessible locations.
“The Library and United Way share a mission of connecting community members with the best resources.” Delaney said. “Now, more than a voice on a phone, customers can put a face to the 2-1-1 program.”
The United Way reserved both the partner pop-up area and an adjacent meeting room. It allows the advisors and clients to enter a private area for further discussion. This avoids any potential unease the individual may have. Delaney said she also looks forward to sharing the Library’s resources and customer service expertise with the United Way 2-1-1 community resource advisors.
As the Library strengthens community health partnerships, 2-1-1 is a natural fit. Residents trust this familiar service. The center took 15,680 calls from Lucas County over 90 days from November to February, averaging 174 calls per day. Callers’ requests most often involved housing and shelter, food and utilities.
“The high-traffic locations in Main Library and Heatherdowns Branch will allow people from all over the county to see this service and take full advantage of it,” Delaney said.