By Todd Cohen
211 phone service that connects callers with community services and volunteer opportunities would expand throughout the United States, based on legislation introduced in Congress.
United Way of America in Alexandria, Va., also has made grants to expand or launch 211 service in eight states or regions.
The proposed legislation would provide $200 million a year, with states required to match funds they get with private and public dollars.
United Way of America made grants totaling more than $540,000 to statewide or regional United Ways in Florida, Indiana, Illinois, New York State, North Carolina, Silicon Valley, the National Capital Area and the Columbia-Willamette area of Oregon and Washington State.
United Way says 211 service already is offered in 22 states serving 65 million people.
The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and in the House by Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Richard Burr, R-N.C.