BINGHAMTON, NY – The United Way of Broome County is using this Friday, 2/11, to spread awareness about it’s own 2-1-1.

2-1-1 is an easy to use and easy to remember phone number available to country residents that can connect them to community programs and services.

The number was established back in 1983 when the community saw a need for a 24 hour hotline for those struggling from natural disaster, housing, and food insecurity.

Topics such as financial assistance, tax preparation, child care providers, employment services and mental health assistance are also covered.

The number is free to dial, and those who do will always get a Information and Referral Specialist on the other end who is equipped to provide resources, referrals and information in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga Counties. The calls are kept confidential.

Many residents found 2-1-1 helpful during the pandemic when it came to finding COVID vaccinations, testing and more.

If you’re uncomfortable calling, there’s also a new 2-1-1 website where users can find services on their own.

A texting service is available as well, which can be started by texting your zip code to 898211 on Monday – Friday from 9 am to 4 pm.