Join us for an overview of 211 nationally and within New York State. You will also learn about additional programming and services available through 211 including free tax assistance programs like VITA and TCE, 211’s comprehensive community services databases, and how to leverage 211 to help patrons connect to community resources and services.
About 211 WNY:
211 WNY is a three digit phone number that connects people to services.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week people can dial 211 or 888-696-9211 and talk to a trained information & referral specialist who is able to identify services in the community that can provide them with the help they need.
Information available through 211 include: basic needs, food assistance, free tax preparation, holiday assistance, housing, job training, legal counseling, mental health services, substance abuse services, volunteer opportunities, and more.
211 WNY covers seven counties in WNY: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming. Allegany County is covered by 211 Finger Lakes.
211 is available 24/7 across New York State. Additionally, over 99% of the United States and all of Canada's populations are served by a 211.
Kelly Dodd is the Director of 211 NYS with the United Way of New York State. Kelly has been working in the field of information and referral since 2007 when she was hired as a member of the team that launched with 211 in WNY.
Prior work experiences include Fair Housing Inspector for HOME, Cast Member at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, proofreading the phonebook, and working at a roadside farmstand selling sweet corn. She graduated from Onondaga Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Humanities, and University at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics.
Kelly is active in the WNY community as a boardmember of the WNY Coalition for the Homeless, New York State Alliance of Information & Referral Systems Inc., Erie County Disaster Preparedness Advisory Board, City of Buffalo Living Wage Commissioner, and volunteering as a free tax preparer.
Lori Abbatepaolo has been with the Middle Country Public Library since 2004. In 2009, Lori became the manager or the Library’s Selden Branch, the grants coordinator and the project manager of the Community Resource Database of Long Island. In 2010, the Library was contracted by United Way of Long Island to provide the resource database for the new 211 Long Island project and Lori was responsible for overseeing the data migration process and the redesign of the database website. Lori has worked closely with UWLI, 211 Hudson Valley, United Way of Westchester and Putnam and now, 211 New York State in efforts to improve the 211 system for all users throughout New York State. She also plays a large role in the work of the Middle Country Library Foundation, which supports the 211 Long Island database, the Miller Business Center, and the national Family Place Libraries™ initiative.