- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The new executive director of Wyoming 2-1-1 plans to increase the organization’s visibility and diversify its funding opportunities in the coming years.

Sabrina Lane, who served as treasurer of the 2-1-1 board for three years, assumed the new role two weeks ago.

Wyoming 2-1-1 is a call service established in 2011 that connects callers, at no cost, to information about critical health and human services available in Wyoming communities.

By dialing 2-1-1, callers can find information and receive referrals on rent/utility assistance, mental health resources, food banks, homeless shelters, health clinics, legal assistance and job training.

Lane has lived in Wyoming since 1997 and raised two daughters in the state. She served in multiple capacities at Laramie County Community College for the past 18 years, including as an accountant compliance supervisor for the past six, where she performed fiscal management for federal and state grants.

Before that, Lane served as both associate and executive director of the LCCC Foundation.

As she settles in, Lane has identified three priorities for Wyoming 2-1-1.

First, she plans to launch an extensive social media and marketing effort to build public awareness.

“What I have found being on the board is that not very many people know about 2-1-1,”she said. “We were launched with the vision to be a statewide organization, and that is my top priority. I want to be the first number individuals call for information and referrals.”

Next, Lane plans to create new opportunities for funding. Currently, the organization is primarily funded through federal, state and local grants.

“We are looking at opportunities for supporters to give to us, as well as securing funding from the business community, foundations and individuals,” she said.

Finally, she wants to grow 2-1-1’s board of directors and achieve statewide representation.

A primary topic of discussion at the organization right now includes how to handle mental health calls, Lane said. This matters in Wyoming, which has the highest rate of suicide of any state in the nation, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

“Our current involvement with the issue is to provide information and referral services to those who call,” she said. “Our specialists are trained in suicide prevention and know how to handle these calls.”

If necessary, 2-1-1 is able to provide a complete transfer to the national suicide prevention hotline or other services within the state.

“We need to build an effective network of support, communication and care for these individuals,” Lane said. “I believe we need to be at the table to see where we fit within this conversation.”

What sets 2-1-1 apart from other similar state services, Lane said, is its ability to anonymously collect call data and provide it to community leaders throughout the state to help shape public policy.

“We have a comprehensive information and referral database that has the capability of invoking real discussion,” she said.


Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com

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