The Family Service Agency has announced that the 2-1-1 Helpline will be terminated. The FSA currently sponsors the 24-hour call center and website. It provides access to health and human service information and referrals. Last year, the program fielded approximately 15,000 calls and 45,000 online inquiries.The 2-1-1 Helpline does not receive direct funding from the state or federal government. It has been funded by local governments and agencies, including a large subsidy directly from Family Service Agency.Santa Barbara County Supervisors say they began searching for alternative funding for the program about a year ago, but were not able to come up with a solution. FSA Executive Director Dr. Scott Whiteley says, “This was a difficult decision for us to make, and we recognize this action will be a significant loss to the community. We also believe it’s the only alternative that will allow us to continue supporting the other programs that Family Service Agency provides our community: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Senior Services, Family Support and Information Services, and Youth and Family Services.”The FSA says it notified partner agencies and local government officials about the termination last week. The 2-1-1 Helpline will end on March 31, 2013.
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