Oct 20, 2011 6:06 PM by Andy Koen

United Way hopes "Bat Phone" will help clients find help

One of the biggest challenges charities face is making sure the people who need their help actually get it. It's one reason the Pikes Peak United Way is taking it's 211 assistance hotline out to the community in the form of a free standing phone.

Nicknamed the "Bat Phone," a small booth inside the enrollment center at the Peak Vista Community Health Center has a designated line which clients can use to call 211 and get help.

Michelle Milner, the 211 Center Manager, says a test phone that was set up at the Marion House Soup Kitchen earlier this year was very popular. They discovered that the help who need help most often don't have a way to call 211 because their phone service has been disconnected or they can't afford to use minutes on a pre-paid cell phone.

"We found from that pilot program that there is a real need to reach out to the population and make it available to them rather than us waiting at 211 for the phone to ring," Milner said.

She hopes to secure funding to pay for phone lines at the Marion House, the El Paso County Department of Human Services and the El Paso County Health Department.


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