DETCOG raising awareness of 211 service

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Thelma Page is playing 42 this Friday at the senior center. But normally, she's home alone.

"Well it's wonderful for people that are alone, that live alone," she said.

She's referring to the 2-1-1 Texas line.

DETCOG supports the non-emergency phone line that links callers to health and community services.

"One of the good things about 211, it is not just referring to government programs," said Bob Bashaw, the DETGOG regional planner. "They also make a pretty good effort to constantly update their listing for local programs, CISC in Lufkin, Love Inc in Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Salvation Army."

It's pretty simple to use. All you do is pick up the phone, dial 211 and an automated message will come on and ask you if you want state or local services. Once you make your selection, an operator will help you from there.

"They tell you what's available in your area, whether it's an emergency shelter for heating or cooling purposes or even assistance if you've gotten into a real terrible situation with your electric bill or your gas bill," Bashaw said.

Everyone can use the service, but Bashaw hopes seniors in particular will take advantage.

"Well, they're on fixed income, if you know what social security is like these days," Bashaw said. "It's not a lot of money to live off of."

Robyn Hight is the director of the Angelina County Senior Center and lets all her clients know about the 24-7 hotline.

Already on a tight budget, she says it takes a burden off the center.

"We couldn't afford to have the clerical help to know all this information to help them," Hight said.

From evacuee information during natural disasters to employment, transportation, rent and food help. 211 is a solution at your fingertips when you need help the most.

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.