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Cell provider adds 2-1-1 service
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T-Mobile users in Liberty County can now access an index of local health and human services by pressing three simple buttons — 2-1-1.
The cell phone service provider recently teamed up with the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s 2-1-1 program to allow subscribers to dial 2-1-1 directly from the company’s mobile devices.
The UWCE’s 2-1-1 program is part of a national call service intended to provide callers with useful information about assistance programs available in their areas, including food and clothing programs, health services for the uninsured and underinsured and resources for elderly citizens.
Previously, three-digit dialing into the 2-1-1 call center was only available on landline phones. Cell phone users were required to dial (912) 651-7730 to speak with an information and referral specialist.
Under the new partnership agreement, T-Mobile users will be charged regular airtime for the service, but information provided through 2-1-1 is free to the community.
According to 2-1-1 Program Coordinator Christy Mauldin, this is a breakthrough for the program and residents.  
“All over the country, 2-1-1 call centers are struggling to help make it easier for cell phone users to access our services. Without the simplicity of three-digit dialing, there was just another barrier,” she said. “Now, there is only one simple number for T-Mobile customers to remember to get answers about health and human services in our area: 2-1-1.”
Now with one major cell phone service provider partnered up, organizers hope other popular providers will jump on board. Until then, cell phone users without T-Mobile service can still dial (912) 651-7730 to find information about local assistance programs.
Information and referral specialists are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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