Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

February 12, 2013

211 goes statewide

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

"From a direct service provider's perspective, if 211 hadn't been created we'd probably have a lot more folks who'd lost their lives or felt hopeless," Marsh said.

Brad Ellsworth, former U.S. Representative for Indiana's Eighth Congressional District and now president of Vectren Energy Delivery, serves on the Indiana 211 Partnership Board. He knows a thing or two about such a service, having worked as a 911 operator for 25 years.

"I would've done that for free," Ellsworth said. "I know people say that, but I loved that job. We liked catching the bad guy, but what really gave you more pleasure was when you just helped someone."

He feels the same way about 211 and Connect2Help, even after his time in Washington, D.C., when so much of the talk was about too many people abusing social welfare programs.

"Sometimes people just need a helping hand," Ellsworth said. "Sometimes it's as simple as not knowing where to go. That's what's great about this service. It's a simple one-stop shop. The services are out there, and these experts know how to connect people to them."

wade.coggeshall@flyergroup.com

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