There's a new number to remember for important services in Colorado Springs and six surrounding counties. It's 211.
The United Way is lauching the number in El Paso, Teller, Chaffee, Park, Lincoln and Cheyenne counties.
Now, residents and visitors can call 211 to help break the maze of automated answering services and machines. The goal is to get people all the information they need with just one phone call. Cary Bement, a call-taker at the United Way says other informational services can be confusing and frustrating, "a lot of times you get caught into the system. You hear no not here. Not yet. This way we have all the information at our fingertips."
The new 211 operators will be able to help with information about health and human services including food banks, rent and utility assistance, health insurance, drug and alcohol intervention, job training, elderly assistance and children's programs.
Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera says 211 will keep people from calling 911 for non-emergency questions, freeing up those very valuable phone lines.
Operators can take calls in both English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm