Legislation requiring the West Virginia Public Service Commission to develop and implement a statewide 211 service passed in March of 2003 has finally come to fruition as Senators Jon Blair Hunter (D-14th District) and Randy White (D-11th Districts), who were the lead sponsors of the bill, Governor Joe Manchin and state community service leaders officially launched the program Friday, February 11th.
West Virginia has become the eighth state in the nation to launch the 211 information service, which will look to connect West Virginia citizens to information regarding critical health and human resource services in their communities.
Senator Hunter, one of the lead sponsors of the 2003 legislation mandating the creation of the 211 service stated, “It’s great to see this program finally become a reality. Now, all West Virginians can call 211 to get connected to almost any service - food pantries, senior centers, veterans’ groups, child and adult protective services, domestic abuse centers - you name it.”
The statewide 211 call center connects callers to local information and referral service providers who can then link to the appropriate local agencies.
“It is imperative that we provide citizens with an easy and expeditious way to contact an agency if they are seeking information,” added Senator White. “It is another way that we can bring State Government to the people and have citizens utilize the vast programs and assistance that is available.”