State Legislature Restores $2.4 Million for 2-1-1 Helpline Network in NY Budget

New York State Senator Pete Harckham has announced that the State Legislature restored 100% of the $2.4 million funding for the 2-1-1 Helpline New York network in the enacted FY2024-2025 State Budget. Local United Way organizations statewide operate the 2-1-1 Helpline network, which ensures that community resources centers can connect individuals with health and human service needs with the right agencies and programs.

“The 2-1-1 Helpline combines shared services and public-private partnerships to help residents in so many ways, from paying bills and finding caregivers to providing information about disaster relief and pressing concerns,” said Harckham. “It is such an important asset for our local municipalities and state government, in terms of knowing what resources are available to bring certain assistance to our residents. I thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the members of the Westchester legislative delegation for their tremendous support of the 2-1-1 Helpline.”

The number of inquiries to the statewide 2-1-1 Helpline was up 153% in 2021 over figures from 2019 to over 15 million calls. Harckham, who represents communities in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, has sponsored the bill for putting the helpline funding into the state budget in recent years. He made his announcement during a recent visit to United Way of Westchester and Putnam, which operates the 2-1-1 Hudson Valley community resource center from its White Plains location. 

The increased allocation for the Helpline in the new State Budget will expand 2-1-1’s texting capability statewide, support 2-1-1 activations in areas experiencing a disaster and include 211 in New York State’s emergency plan, which will clarify communications, messaging and activations. The 2-1-1 Helpline New York network matches the legislative appropriation with $5.3 million in local grants, contracts and fees for services agreements, including $1.3 million in local United Way investments.

Hugh Perry, president of the United Way of New York State, said, “With $2.4 million state support, we will be able to be a resource for people in need every day of the year, every hour of the day. We will also continue our ongoing efforts to make 2-1-1 easy to use and by those seeking help.” 

Tom Gabriel, president and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam, said, “Two million New Yorkers rely upon the 211 Helpline each year during times of disaster or when looking for help with their basic needs. For almost 20 years, the New York State Legislature has recognized the importance of 211 in connecting people to the programs and services that can help them. We are honored that New York State will continue to fund this essential service and thank Senator Harckham and all the Legislators that supported it.”

United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline has nationally certified community resource specialists trained to answer questions and provide referrals for health and human service needs round-the-clock and 365 days a year in 200 languages. For help in the Hudson Valley region, an individual can dial 2-1-1, text their zip code to 898211, or visit

 [Attached photo: State Sen. Harckham with (l-r) Cassandra Rajcumar, Director of Program and Services, 211 Hudson Valley & Long Island Region; Tom Gabriel, President and CEO of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam; and William M. Mooney III, Esq., United Way Board Chair, and Group Director-Senior Vice President at Customers Bank. Credit: Office of State Sen. Pete Harckham / James Persons]

Pete Harckham represents the 40th Senate District, which includes the towns of Carmel, Kent, Patterson and Southeast, and the village of Brewster in Putnam County; the town of Stony Point in Rockland County; and the city of Peekskill, the towns of Bedford, Cortlandt, Lewisboro, New Castle, North Salem, Ossining, Somers and Yorktown, the town/village of Mount Kisco, and the villages of Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Croton-on-Hudson and Ossining in Westchester County.

Submitted by Office of Senator Pete Harckham

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