Every day, thousands of our neighbors face difficulties and crises, unsure of where to find help. Thankfully, the 211 network has become a lifeline, providing assistance to individuals in need in Greenville County. Now, we have a chance to expand this vital resource through the Human-services Emergency Logistics Program (HELP) Act of 2023. With bipartisan backing in congress, this legislation deserves our full support.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the 211 network has connected people in our community with local resources that greatly improve their lives. With more than 30,000 referrals in 2022 alone, 211 serves every zip code in Greenville County. This non-emergency resource line helps with essential needs like food, housing, healthcare, jobs and mental health crises.
The HELP Act will provide the necessary funds to strengthen and expand the 211 network, ensuring it can offer better support during difficult times. The act requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allocate funds to states, tribal nations and territories, prioritizing mental health emergencies, homelessness needs and other non-criminal emergencies. It also sets up a system for evaluating and improving services with the help of community representatives.
Supporting the HELP Act is crucial to ensuring individuals receive the resources they need. By endorsing this legislation, we show our commitment to the well-being and safety of our communities. When first responders, 211, and nonprofits work together, we can respond effectively in emergencies, building resilience and unity.
This week, I’m traveling to Washington, D.C. to ask Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham to support the HELP Act of 2023. Join us in urging them to join as co-sponsors of this important bill, promoting compassion, strength and unity. Together, we can build stronger, more equitable communities where all people have access to the opportunities to achieve their full potential.