City's 3-1-1 Center Now Handling 2-1-1 Help Line Calls

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City's 3-1-1 Center Now Handling 2-1-1 Help Line Calls

Posted: 07/22/2015
311 Takes on 211 CallsBeginning this month, the City's 3-1-1 Call Center has started handling calls to the 2-1-1 help line, which is funded by United Way organizations across the region to provide referrals to local community services for people in need.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Barbara Kelly, Knoxville-Knox County CAC Executive Director, and Ben Landers, President and CEO of the United Way, toured the 3-1-1 Call Center operations this morning with local media and with Russ Jensen, 3-1-1 Center Director.

"A lot of people have no access, or don't know who to call or even that help is available," Kelly said. "We need something as local, as accessible and as easy to use as 2-1-1."

Just a few months ago, the City celebrated the 10th year for our 3-1-1 Call Center. Knoxville was only the 12th municipal 3-1-1 service in the United States. In the first 10 years, 3-1-1 staff has answered 2.1 million calls and initiated 386,658 requests for service. Surveys consistently find that 97 or 98 percent of residents are satisfied with how they were helped by a 3-1-1 employee.

The 2-1-1 help line is funded by United Way organizations across the region to provide referrals to local community services for people in need. United Way has funded the Knoxville 2-1-1 line since it began in 1995. For the past nine years, it has been run under contract by the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee. In recent years, CAC has contracted the answering service to a call center in Nashville.

Now, East Tennesseans needing help will be talking with a Knoxville-based customer service expert, Mayor Rogero said. People in need – people not sure who to turn to – can simply call 2-1-1. Their call will be answered by a trusted, patient professional who knows the Knoxville area.

Managing the 2-1-1 help line is a great fit for 3-1-1, the partners in the initiative agreed.
"This takes 2-1-1 to another level," Landers said.

For more information about the City's 3-1-1 Call Center please visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/311.