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A national cost benefit analysis conducted by the University of Texas estimates a net value to society of a national 2-1-1 system approaching $130 million in the first year alone and a conservative estimate of $1.1 billion over ten years. The analysis is based largely on the data of eleven 2-1-1 centers in the following areas: Hawaii; Idaho; Connecticut; Houston, TX; Twin Cities, MN; Salt Lake City, UT; Albuquerque, NM; Grand Rapids, MI; Atlanta, GA; Sioux Falls, SD; and Jacksonville, FL.
The benefits of 2-1-1 systems increase over time, as new, innovative uses are employed for the number. For example, Connecticut's statewide 2-1-1 system manages the State of Connecticut's QuitLine, a tobacco use cessation hotline. To implement the service, Connecticut 2-1-1 hired one program manager and trained 2-1-1 call specialists on how to handle QuitLine-specific calls. It is estimated that without the 2-1-1 partnership, the state would have needed to establish a call center and hire five to seven people to handle the calls.
The research found that the viability of maintaining and expanding a high quality, national 2-1-1 network is dependent on the infusion of additional funds to sustain the current operations and expand the current system.
The study also determined that the national 2-1-1 effort is ripe for enhanced public/private sector collaboration. There is greater opportunity to maximize resources as the 2-1-1 call centers, and the public and non-profit agencies to which they make referrals, recognize the complementary features of their service delivery systems.
Finally, 93% of the users surveyed by the University of Texas indicated they found the information they sought with ease, and 97% said they would call 2-1-1 again.