United Way of Southern Kentucky’s 2-1-1 hotline is now offering residents the ability to text the service to better connect people with needed resources.

As the hotline enters its fifth year in the region, the addition of texting was the logical next step, according to United Way of Southern Kentucky Vice President Ellie Harbaugh.

“The 2-1-1 service is still relatively new in our community as we are celebrating five years of service in July,” Harbaugh said. “As our world and technology changes around us, it’s important to have texting made available for our community. It is now currently active for anyone to use.”

The hotline is a free and confidential 24-hour referral and information service connecting people in southcentral Kentucky to trained call specialists who can locate health and human services for callers.

To begin the process of texting the hotline, send a message to 898211. The service will then respond by messaging back and asking for your ZIP code through text.

Once you provide your ZIP code, you will start receiving information via text messages that will put you in touch with the correct service needed.

The launch comes just in time for United Way’s 2-1-1 Day on Feb. 11, which is a national day of recognition and acknowledgment of the service.

“It’s important for people to know that resources are available in our community to assist them during these trying times,” Harbaugh said. “They will be put in touch with a caring individual that will help them out. We are truly here to help. We just want everyone to know that this service is here.”

Harbaugh said United Way will next look to add a chat option on its website as another way for the community to interact with the service.

United Way Director of Marketing and Communications Elizabeth Newbould said the organization hopes to have that option up and running either by the end of 2021 or in early 2022.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.