211 help line in service 4.29.09

Written by David Green.

Lenawee County’s new 2-1-1 health and human services telephone line has been in service for several weeks now,   providing ‘round-the-clock service for less-than-emergency needs.

The Lenawee United Way continues its efforts to get the word out on the benefits of the service to county residents.

Individuals looking for help with mortgage assistance, utility bill payment assistance, food, shelter, counseling services, and many other forms of help can call 211 to be connected to the available resources in the area.

Kathleen Schanz of the United Way lists three benefits from the service.

The 2-1-1 line diverts many non-emergency calls from the 9-1-1 service and allows those personnel to do a more efficient job.

2-1-1 helps cut through red tape with a live responder assessing the situation and consulting a database.

“People get tired of hearing, ‘We don’t do that’ when they call for help,” Schanz said. “2-1-1 does do that.”

Finally, the service provides each participating community with a barometer to gauge the social needs of an area.

The need for the service appears to be growing, she said. The Jackson center received 27,000 calls in 2007. In the first three months of 2008, nearly half that many calls have been made.

Morenci police chief Larry Weeks gave his support for the service when Schanz first introduced the program to city council members.

“I don’t know if people realize the number of calls that come to city hall,” he said. “There are so many services that we aren’t even aware of.”

“Remembering the 2-1-1 number is much easier than remembering phone numbers for several different agencies or resources,” said Amy Palmer of the Lenawee United Way.

There is no charge to call 2-1-1 and translation is available for non-English speaking callers.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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