Heartline 211 Takes Funding Hit After DHS Cuts

<p>A group that helps Oklahomans through their darkest days is facing a crisis of its own. Heartline's 211 program just took a funding hit worth more than $300,000 a year after DHS announced its budget cuts.&nbsp;</p>

Wednesday, August 17th 2016, 10:08 pm

By: News 9


A group that helps Oklahomans through their darkest days is facing a crisis of its own.

Heartline's 211 program just took a funding hit worth more than $300,000 a year after DHS announced its budget cuts.

Whether it was just a hard day or you're up against a mountain of obstacles, sometimes it only takes a phone call to feel better.

Every year, Heartline's 211 service line supports more than 200,000 households in Oklahoma experiencing all kinds of challenges.

“We had a disabled veteran call and was very panicked about not being able to make a payment on his utility service,” said Danielle Harris-Cummings with Heartline.

They were able to find that man help with his bills and prevent future panic.

But many calls that come in go deeper than just trouble with money.

Mental health and addiction are the greatest needs met with Heartline.

But now, the guidance group is on the other end of the call, dealing with challenges of its own.

One hundred percent of the money they usually receive from DHS is now gone. It's a 22 percent blow to the Heartline budget.

That means callers in despair may have twice the wait times, or be referred to the 211's text or email system.

But no matter what,  they said they'll remain open 24/7 and remain optimistic.

“If we know how to do anything here at Heartline, we know how to help people through crisis. And we’re going to get through this,” said Emilie McClanahan with Heartline.

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