Left to Right: Cassandra Rajcumar; Director of Programs and Services, United Way’s Hudson Valley & Long Island 211; Tom Gabriel, President and CEO UWWP; Senator Peter Harckham; and UWWP Board Chair William Mooney III Esq.

211 Referral Lines Receive $2.4 Million in New York State Budget

211 Helpline statewide has received $2.4 million in funding in the New York State Budget allowing it to continue providing millions of New Yorkers with vital referral information.


United Way of Westchester’s President and CEO Tom Gabriel thanked legislators for their support in lobbying for the funds that enable all state 211 referral lines to continue operations. 211 Helpline has nationally certified community resource specialists trained to answer questions and provide referrals for health and human service needs 24/7, 365 days a year, in 200 languages.


“This funding will help 211 community resource centers throughout the state meet the demand from those asking for food, mortgage and rent assistance, or other basic needs,” said Gabriel. “United Way of Westchester and Putnam operates the 211 Hudson Valley & Long Island community resource center from its White Plains location. We thank Sen. Harckham, Sen. Mayer, and Assemblymembers Donna Lupardo and Andrew Hevesi for advocating for the funds and the legislative support of all the Senate and Assembly members.”


Sen. Peter Harckham said, “211 is essential to so many New Yorkers as a connection to the incredible services offered across the state. It is the ultimate example of shared services and public-private partnerships,” said. “It is a good investment of public dollars to make sure that someone is there to assist those in need to find the government services and nonprofit assistance available.”


“With their around-the-clock information and referral services, 2-1-1 is an invaluable community asset and a central component to the state’s emergency response plan,” said Assemblymember Lupardo, who represents District 123. “I sponsored legislation two years ago that placed the state director of 2-1-1 on the Disaster Preparedness Commission, underscoring the importance of 2-1-1 to the state’s planning and response operations. I am relieved that their funding was restored in the final budget agreement; the service they provide is too vital for us to do without.”


The 211 Helpline has helped millions of New Yorkers connect with essential services across the state at no cost since 1999. Senator Shelley Mayer, who represents Southern Westchester communities, recently recognized the United Way of Westchester and Putnam’s 2-1-1 helpline on its 20th anniversary.


“211 provides such a vital service to individuals and families in Westchester and throughout New York State,” said Sen. Mayer. “I am proud to recognize their commitment and efforts to providing access to information and resources for the past 20 years.”

In 2022, 211 was added to the NYS Disaster Preparedness Commission. This move ensured that 211 services were integrated into the state’s disaster response to help New Yorkers get the information they need during a state of emergency. The additional funding allocated in SFY 2024-25 will provide support to 2-1-1’s trained call response specialists as they deal with an expanded call volume.


United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) is an anti-poverty organization dedicated to improving the lives of 40% of our neighbors who live in poverty or paycheck to paycheck. United Way provides strategic resources and tools to help struggling residents lead a better, more stable life, and these include our 211 helpline operating 24/7 across the Hudson Valley, early literacy programming for preschoolers in underserved communities, job skills training and financial empowerment for financially struggling adults and families, as well as access to health services and discounts on prescription drugs. United Way supports hundreds of local nonprofits with millions of dollars in grants and essential goods for basic needs, as well as by providing affordable professional development and connecting nonprofits to new resources.


UWWP is located at 336 Central Park Ave., White Plains, NY 10606. Phone: 914-997-6700 Website: www.uwwp.org Facebook: (www.facebook.com/UnitedWayWP) and Twitter (@UnitedWayWP)