New state budget would provide funding for expansion of 2-1-1 helpline

2-1-1 helpline
Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) - The 2-1-1 helpline that provides a wide range of assistance will be able to expand statewide, thanks to the budget state lawmakers passed last week.

As of now, Lake is the largest county to have access to it. About 36% of Illinois residents can connect to help with groceries, utility bills, crisis intervention and other services by calling 2-1-1 for free and confidential help. The new state budget is expected to dedicate $1.8 million in expansion of the service statewide over the next two years.

The United Way of Lake County said the money will provide stability for existing call centers and a chance to analyze what people need and where the services aren’t meeting them.

The board said in 2020 centers answered more than 68,000 calls, with housing assistance being the biggest request.

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