The national reference phone number, 2-1-1, is coming to the north country soon.

Only 10 counties in New York do not have the number, which callers can use to get information regarding services provided by governments and nonprofits. Three of the counties are Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence. Funding to get the service started was provided in the state budget with support from Sen. Pattie Ritchie-R. Heuvelton.

The three counties are joining with Oswego and Onondaga to contract with Contact Call Center in Syracuse. The committee overseeing the project includes Bob Gorman, CEO the United Way, Roger Ambrose, Jefferson County Director of Social Services, Stacy Alvord, Lewis County DSS Commissioner, Karen Easter, executive director of Reach Out in St. Lawrence County. Chair of the committee is Frank Lazarski, executive director of the United Way of Central New York. Gorman is the vice chair.

A tentative start date for the service is Dec. 15.

2-1-1 progress being made
27 October 2014