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2-1-1 service expanded to include texting

Text zip code to TXT211 (898211) and a specialist will help you.

The United Way of Northern California has expanded 2-1-1 services in Shasta and Tehama counties with the option to text.

Communications & Outreach Specialist Christina Gutierrez said before residents had to either call 2-1-1 or go to their website for help.

By adding a texting option people looking for services can send their zip code to TXT211 (898211) and communicate with a volunteer.

2-1-1 helps to connect people with a variety of services in the community including food, housing and addiction help.

Gutierrez said texting 2-1-1 would be beneficial, when most people can use the internet on their phone, by reducing the time spent on general searches.

"Rather than get the chase around and looking at different places on Google you get connected to a person right away. If you're calling 2-1-1 with an issue you don't want to be looking all around and trying to find the right place you want to get connected to it and get your issue solved," said Gutierrez.

The United Way started 2-1-1 NorCal in 2011, they also help fund 2-1-1 in Butte County. Gutierrez said in the future they would like to expand the service into other neighboring counties as well.

In 2017, 2-1-1 took more than 5,000 calls and helped more than 31,000 people online perform 140,000 searches on the website, the highest numbers to date.

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