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United Way of the River Cities Executive Director Carol Bailey announces the distribution of over 10,000 masks to help aid in the prevention of COVID-19 throughout its five-county service region on July 8, 2020, in Huntington. On Wednesday, the organization announced it was adding 211 services.

HUNTINGTON — United Way of the River Cities announced Wednesday the incorporation of 211 service into its initiative work for West Virginia.

While 211 has been in the area for a while, Cabell, Lincoln, Mason and Wayne counties were served by different organizations, according to Carol Bailey, executive director of the United Way of the River Cities.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic led to a shelter-at-home order in March, we have seen a 400% increase in the number of 211 calls coming in across the state. The goal of this transition is the same as the goal of all our work,” Bailey said. “We want to do whatever we can to help meet the needs of our community, both during this pandemic and after.”

211 is non-emergency resource information and a referral hotline. It provides callers with information about services such as food and meal assistance, housing and shelter assistance, and more.

“Taking on this 211 work is a natural fit because we already provide community support with our internal initiatives, provide funding through grants and participate in various groups within each county,” Bailey said. “We will be able to help expand 211 service and increase information about resources in these counties thanks to the partnerships we have.”

For more information about 211, visit www.wv211.org. For non-emergency assistance, dial 2-1-1 from any phone or mobile device, text your ZIP code to 898-211 or visit www.wv211.org.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

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