SC 211 app gives those in need resources ‘at their fingertips’

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – A new cell phone app, called SC 211, is putting public information in the hands of all South Carolinians.

It aims to connect people with services they may need including addiction treatment, shelter, legal services, domestic violence, and disaster relief.

“211 is for everyone,” said Richard LaPratt, Vice President of Contact Services for United Way of South Carolina. “We’ve been communicating more and more with Horry County to make sure we’re getting the resources correct and that individuals are getting the help they need.”

People have been able to call 211 since 2006 but LaPratt said fewer people are picking up the phone now.

“It’s important because we want to make sure every type of access is available for those individuals in need,” he added. “The app will actually give them more resources readily available at their fingertips.”

Horry County Police are also using the resource when they go on calls.

“When a police officer shows up on scene there’s lots of questions citizens have,” said Captain Bob Carr. “Some of the officers can’t give a complete answer to their questions which could be about childcare, they might need help with money, drug abuse, things like that.”

Horry County Police officers were given 10,000 information cards and they have started to give them out during those calls.

“It’s a great tool for our officers to give to the citizens,” added Carr.

The app is free to download and is funded through a grant, contract funding and money from the United Way. The app is in English, but 211 call-takers can respond in 135 different languages. It is available in several states but narrows down searches based on your location.

LaPratt is also hoping to add a “live-text” feature to the app by January. The app is available for iPhone and Andriod uses.