National 2-1-1 Day 2016 Celebration

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For Immediate Release: February 11, 2016


Media Contact:         

Todd Pipitone                                                              Phone: (585) 469-5699

Public Relations Manager                                           Email:


National 2-1-1 Day Celebrates vital community service that helps address problems before they become a crisis

Rochester, N.Y. (February 11, 2016) – February 11 (2/11/16) is National 2-1-1 Day and 2-1-1/LIFE LINE, a program of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, is joining in the celebration of the easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available throughout the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes areas.

“2-1-1/LIFE LINE is available for the community we serve all day, every day of the year. The program never shuts down,” said Caitlin Peterson, 2-1-1/LIFE LINE program operations and clinical manager.

In 2015, 2-1-1/LIFE LINE answered over 131,000 contacts for help through calls, live chats, emails and TTY contacts.

“Contact volume has grown steadily each year and shows no signs of slowing down as the need in the community increases in conjunction with the rate of poverty in the area,” said Peterson.

Callers can make an average of eight phone calls to different numbers before finding the services they need. By dialing 2-1-1, callers get access to an extensive database of community resources that is updated on a regular basis to ensure accuracy. With over 6,000 contacts in the database, it is a tool that helps 2-1-1/LIFE LINE telecounselors work with callers to devise a plan to help that may include:

  • Where to go for food and shelter
  • What to do if the utilities are turned off
  • Access to mental health counseling

“We have to be prepared with information about the incredible range of services that are available, as well as be prepared to assist people in crisis to stay safe and get connected to the help they need,” said Peterson.

 2-1-1 Day Celebration and Early Help Seeking Campaign

During the National 2-1-1 Day celebration event being held on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at 500 South Clinton Avenue, attendees from various community-focused agencies will have an opportunity to celebrate the vital services 2-1-1/LIFE LINE provides and discuss how to further partner with the program to increase impact.

2-1-1/LIFE LINE will present its Community Partner Award to New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb for the work he and his office have done to support the growth of 2-1-1/LIFE LINE in recent years.

“Providing people with information and access to help during a crisis are among the most important things we can do in the community,” Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said. “I am truly honored to receive the Community Partner Award and look forward to working with 2-1-1/LIFELINE to increase awareness and promote the invaluable services they offer.”

2-1-1/LIFELINE is also celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Early Help Seeking community impact campaign. A community coalition made up of 2-1-1/LIFE LINE, Causewave Community Partners, the United Way of Greater Rochester, and a number of other organizations joined together to help reduce Rochester’s poverty rate – one of the worst in America.

“2-1-1/LIFE LINE’s partnership has been integral to the initial success of the Early Help Seeking community impact campaign, connecting people in need in Rochester and the surrounding area to help before their situations get out of hand,” said Todd Butler, president and CEO of Causewave Community Partners.

In it’s first year, the Early Help Seeking community impact campaign held summits for non-profit agencies in Monroe, Ontario, Livingston, and Wayne counties to inform providers about the services 2-1-1/LIFE LINE offers and how using these services can help them and the people they work with.

More information about 2-1-1/LIFE LINE can be found online at More information about the Early Help Seeking community impact campaign can be found online at

About 2-1-1/LIFE LINE

2-1-1/LIFE LINE is a program of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes. 2-1-1/LIFE LINE has been a part of Goodwill since 2005, but has served the Greater Rochester region since the 1970s. 2-1-1/LIFE LINE is a blended information and referral service for human service organizations and a crisis intervention hotline. In conjunction with the National Suicide Prevention Line, 2-1-1/LIFE LINE serves as a regional and national back up center for individuals contemplating suicide. 2-1-1/LIFE LINE also serves as one of six back up centers for the Veterans Crisis Hotline, and is one of three national centers answering calls for the Disaster Distress Helpline. Anyone in the community can contact 2-1-1/LIFE LINE by dialing 2-1-1 or by going online to to chat or access information. To follow 2-1-1/LIFE LINE on Facebook, just search “211LifeLine”.


Frontier Phone Troubles

Frontier is having a major outage affecting our inbound phone calls. We’ll be up and running as soon as we can, in the meantime our Live Chat service is available and staff are ready to assist you!  Just click on “Chat Live” on our Home page to get started. Originally posted 2:30pm, 7/15/15

Update 11pm, 7/15/15: Frontier is still working on the problem with phone lines. 2-1-1 access is not yet fixed, but you can reach us by dialing 585-275-5151 which is now up. Live Chat is offline until morning. Thank you for your patience!

Update 9am, 7/16/15: Repair crews worked throughout the night to fix the outage and access to our phones lines are now restored.  We apologize for the inconvenience and disruption to our services.

2-1-1/LIFE LINE, United Way of Greater Rochester and the Ad Council of Rochester host an “Early Help Seeking Summit”

The first Early Help Seeking for Basic Needs and Mental Health Issues Summit was held Wednesday, March 11 at the Goodwill of the Finger Lakes main campus. Attendees included members of several of Rochester’s social and human services organizations.

The summit began with an overview of the Early Help Seeking community impact campaign that the Ad Council of Rochester is coordinating with the help of 2-1-1, a mission service of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, and many other community partners, including the United Way of Greater Rochester. Ad Council President Todd Butler discussed the campaign and presented examples of the creative that is being used throughout the Greater Rochester area to promote the message of getting connected to help early before the issue becomes a crisis.

The keynote address was presented by Kerry Knox, PhD., Associate Professor with the Department of Psychiatry Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She spoke about her work studying the utilization of early help seeking strategies and tactics within the U.S. Air Force to decrease the number of suicides in that branch of the military. Her underlying message was that everyone needs help at some point in his or her lives, and seeking help early is integral to getting the help that is needed.

The summit then turned to small group discussions. Each group was asked to discuss barriers to early help seeking, how to incorporate early help seeking and dialing 2-1-1 into the programs and services each participant was a part of, and methods for distributing the message about early help seeking and using 2-1-1 as a resource throughout their networks. Each small group reported back two of the most important things they believed would help move the community impact campaign forward. These outputs included building and maintaining trust, providing positive support in communities to cut through the stigma of seeking help, and educating service providers about the vital community asset 2-1-1 is.

The summit ended with each attendee coming away with a fuller understanding of what the Ad Council’s Early Help Seeking Community Impact Campaign is and how dialing 2-1-1 before the issue becomes a crisis can help.

2-1-1/LIFE LINE Celebrates 10 Years of 2-1-1 Dialing Access

The 2-1-1/LIFE LINE program has been in operation since 1973 providing crisis intervention and information & referral services to the community under our original number 585-275-5151.  We were so proud to add 2-1-1 dialing access and become the first operating 2-1-1 service in New York State 10 years ago this year.

2-1-1 is an easy to remember number that is available across the country for those seeking information about health and human service programs and those needing help figuring out where to turn to find the help they need.  In some areas of the country, crisis intervention services are available via 2-1-1 as they are here at 2-1-1/LIFE LINE.

We are also pleased to share that 2-1-1 dialing access is now available everywhere in New York State, so tell your friends and neighbors in other areas of the state.

We celebrated our anniversary on 2-1-1 Day (2/11/15) with some cake for the hard working staff members!

2-1-1 10th Anniversary Group 12-1-1 10th Anniversary Cookie Cake

2-1-1/LIFE LINE Announces Annual Award Recipients

Andre Stokes was the recipient of our annual 2-1-1/LIFE LINE “Answer the Call” Award today as part of our 2-1-1 Day Celebrations.  The “Answer the Call” award is presented annually to the 2-1-1/LIFE LINE staff member who, through demonstrated knowledge of available resources and proven excellence in dealing with individuals with a life need or crisis, exemplifies the values of the 2-1-1/LIFE LINE program, Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, and our commitment to serving people in our community.

AStokes Answer the Call Award Group 4

Our “Community Champion” Award was presented to David Putney and the Monroe County Office of Mental Health for demonstrated commitment and passion in support of 2-1-1/LIFE LINE and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes.

Dave Putney Community Champion Award

Effort to help residents in need is launched on National 2-1-1 Day

Effort to help residents in need is launched

Press Releases ON Feb 11, 2015

Dial 2-1-1Rochester, N.Y. — A community coalition made up of the 2-1-1 information program referral service, the Ad Council of Rochester, the United Way of Greater Rochester, and a number of other partners, officially launched today — on what is National 211 Day — the Early Help Seeking community impact campaign. The goal of the campaign is to encourage people with basic needs or mental-health concerns to call 2-1-1 to get connected to help before it becomes a crisis. The advertising materials developed for the campaign will start running this month in the Ad Council’s donated media bank.

Ad Council of Rocheser CEO Todd Butler introduces the Dial 2-1-1 Community Impact Campaign“Rochester is facing one of the worst rates of poverty in America,” said Todd Butler, president and CEO of the Ad Council of Rochester. “But it also has a nonprofit community that has responded to those needs with a wide range of programs and services. The challenge is that it can be very difficult to know where to turn, or how to get connected to help. This community effort is designed to help make those connections, before a person’s situation gets out of hand.”

Without 2-1-1 assistance, callers would make an average of eight phone calls to different numbers before finding needed services, according to Shye Louis, manager of the 2-1-1 program, a mission service of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes. The 2-1-1 contact center answered more than 120,000 calls and online communications in 2014. The number continues to grow as more people in the community seek easy, reliable, and confidential access to free information and services, including where to go for food and shelter; what to do if utilities are turned off; where to get free or low-cost health care services; and access to mental-health counseling.

“When you dial 2-1-1 you’ll connect to a caring, professional telecounselor who will listen and work with you to devise a plan to help,” Louis said. “By seeking 2-1-1’s help early, many crisis situations can be eased or avoided altogether.”

The 2-1-1 program serves a 13-county region, including Monroe County, and offers hearing-impaired capabilities and Spanish-speaking members on staff, as well as translators for more than 140 languages. By dialing 2-1-1, callers get 24-hour confidential guidance plus access to an extensive database of 6,000 contacts related to community resources.

Getting the word out about the campaign
Dial 2-1-1 Community Impact Campaign collateralAds touting the new campaign, which are being created in both Spanish and English by pro-bono advertising agency partner Brandtatorship, will appear in print, online, and on radio, TV, and billboards, in addition to online video. The ads encourage people to take action by dialing 2-1-1 to get connected to help or to visit the campaign’s landing page at In addition to the ads, campaign messaging will appear in printed posters, stickers, and agency toolkits.

An example print ad will feature this message:
“Before the problem gets too big. We’re here.

Bills piling up. Putting food on the table. Having to work three jobs just to get by. Finding the strength to get out of bed in the morning.

It’s easy to feel as though some problems are simply getting too big to overcome on your own. But there is help. By dialing 2-1-1 before those struggles become a crisis, you can get connected to the help you need.”

The Early Help Seeking for Basic Needs & Mental Health Issues Summit
The Early Help Seeking for Basic Needs & Mental Health Issues Summit has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 11. The goal of the summit is to raise awareness among community leaders and agencies and service providers regarding early help seeking for basic needs and mental health issues, ultimately increasing participation and referrals to 2-1-1.

Community partners are invited to the summit to learn more about early help seeking to gain a better understanding of what they would need to work toward this goal; discuss the role agencies can play in helping to create the desired behavior change; and determine ways to collaborate on making service delivery more efficient and effective.

The summit will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at ABVI Goodwill at 500 South Clinton Ave., Rochester. The United Way’s Peter Carpino will deliver the opening remarks and Kerry L. Knox of the University of Rochester Medical Center will be the keynote speaker. Table discussions with experts will include the topics of behavioral health, housing, food, employment, care management, and family needs, including education, childcare, elder care, and domestic violence. To learn more about attending the summit, contact the Ad Council of Rochester at (585) 442-0200 or

Attention Media
High-res photographs and video related to the new early help seeking campaign are online at

Media Contact:
Dresden Engle
Dresden Public Relations
(585) 319-1812