Cold weather keeps 2-1-1 help line busy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- The thermometer is dropping and the phones keep ringing as thousands of people call 2-1-1 for help. The non-profit resource connects people in need with assistance programs all across the state.

Currently, officials there say most callers are just trying to keep warm.

Ann Hartman, the executive director of Connect2Help, which operates 2-1-1, said they expect to see more calls during the winter months, but right now with temperatures colder than the state has seen in years, the phones there are ringing off the hook.

“In the last five days we’ve had over a thousand calls just for heating assistance,” said Hartman. She said the need this year seems greater, likely in part to the cold that just won’t quit.

“A lot of times folks… can make it, until they just can’t make it anymore,” said Hartman.

Connect2Help also offers help finding shelters, food pantries and crisis counseling, along with handling all sign-up calls for IPL’s Energy Assistance Program.

“Just since October when that program launched,” said Hartman, “we’ve had almost 30,000 calls for that program alone.”

If you need assistance, you can call 2-1-1 on the phone or visit the Connect2Help website.