Missouri has a new information line, which could well help its old emergency line. Need emergency help? Call 911. Just need information? Call 211. Well, not all of you can – only those in the 16 north and western counties being served by the Heart of America United Way. Public Service Commission Chairman Steve Gaw says 2-1-1 has only been available since the Federal Communications Commission authorized the new service. People living in the Kansas City and St. Joseph areas as well as in western Missouri will be able to dial 2-1-1 to get information about where to obtain housing or energy assistance, counseling, hospice services; just general information not of an emergency nature. Gaw says that could provide a side benefit, routing non-emergency calls from 9-1-1. The PSC will be closely watching this 2-1-1 experiment to see if it can expand in Missouri as an easy-to-remember telephone number for information and referral.
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