Tiffin-Seneca United Way interim director gives 2-1-1 update
By Sheri Trusty
[Tiffin, OH – Nov. 2, 2023] — During the Nov. 2 commissioners’ meeting, Chris Lewis, interim executive director of Tiffin-Seneca United Way, provided an update on the new 2-1-1 service which launched on Oct. 30. Through the service, anyone in Seneca County can call 2-1-1 to connect with a variety of resources throughout the community.
2-1-1 calls are manned 24-hours a day by community resource advisors who talk to callers about their needs in an effort to determine the best way to connect them to local organizations that can help.
“They are trained and have full access to a database of providers,” Lewis said. “This really helps people succeed instead of just putting a Band-Aid on the issue.”
Before the 2-1-1 service launched, the database contained about 15 providers. Now, it contains over 80.
“Our hope is to have 150 to 200 providers by the end of the year,” Lewis said. “We’re excited to have all these resources in one place.”
Callers can find support for a variety of needs, including help with depression, food shortages, utility disconnects and rental assistance. The 2-1-1service is already successfully connecting people to resources. Lewis said that, as of Oct. 31, the service had received 50 calls.
“The beauty of this 2-1-1 system is that we already have in our county many organizations and resources, but people don’t always know how to access them,” said Commissioner Anthony Paradiso.
2-1-1 is one of three service numbers available in the county. Residents can call 9-1-1 for emergencies and the 9-8-8 suicide hotline for mental health struggles. Lewis said 2-1-1 fills in the gaps between the other two service numbers, providing practical help for daily needs.
“You do so much for the community and help so many people,” Paradiso said of Tiffin-Seneca United Way.
In other business, Paradiso said that Stemtown Historical Society Museum in Green Springs made a successful move to its new location in the former Calvary United Methodist Church, and he recognized Bud and Maxine Rutherford for generously providing funds to purchase the building.
“What a legacy for them to leave,” Paradiso said.
Paradiso said the commissioners would like to help highlight museums like Stemtown as well as other destination sites throughout the county during next year’s Seneca County 200th Anniversary celebration.
“We can highlight these gems in the county that people don’t know about,” Paradiso said.
Commissioners Bill Frankart and Tyler Shuff will serve as poll workers during the upcoming election. The commissioners encourage local residents to utilize their right to vote on Nov. 7.
In new business, commissioners approved various supplemental appropriations and approved six resolutions, including a resolution to transfer funds to the Children Services Fund.