BROOME, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The United Way has released a new text hotline designed as a one-stop shop for individuals in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga Counties to seek information on how to give and get help.

By texting your zip-code to 898211 (TXT211) residents will be immediately connected to an information and referral specialist that can assist with a variety of needs, including: housing, utilities, food, elder services, or other critical needs.

The hotline also offers immediate help for individuals who are dealing with mental health issues, drug addiction, family violence, or any situation that overwhelms their ability to cope.

You can text Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The hotline is not a substitute for 911 or 411.

“For some, talking on the phone may be difficult, intimidating, or may not be private enough for their circumstances. By expanding to include texting services, the 211 Susquehanna River Region is increasing the access and availability of services to those who would prefer to communicate through a non-verbal medium. 211 text offers the same high-quality, responsive, and confidential service provided by expertly trained Call Specialists in a convenient text format,” shared LoriAnne Welch, Executive Director, United Way of Broome County.