The Detroit Public Library Provides 2-1-1 Database
The Detroit Public Library (DPL) has created, and is already providing, the electronic
database that will be used to refer 2-1-1 callers for local assistance. This database is the
principal source of information used by all 2-1-1 staff regarding available community
The library developed the database over many years to support its own community
service mission. DPL first began serving as the database provider to the United Way for
Southeastern Michigan and a coalition of other community information providers in
1994. This initiative, which established a shared, regional database, was supported by a
major grant from The Skillman Foundation. It was recognized in 1999 as a model
program by the national Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) and
provided the foundation for the partnership that brings 2-1-1 to southeastern Michigan
Libraries are logical partners in the 2-1-1 initiative. Their professional staff possesses a
very wide and very deep and detailed knowledge of the local community, is expert in
collecting, organizing, and disseminating information, and is familiar to and trusted by
every citizen in the community. With more than 16,000 local public libraries across the
country (more even than McDonald’s restaurants!), they also represent a vast and
powerful network to be utilized as a resource in support of local 2-1-1 systems. The
initiative in southeastern Michigan is an excellent example of this type of partnership.
The Detroit Public Library’s comprehensive and authoritative database contains detailed
records of over 5,000 community services offered by not-for-profit and government
agencies in southeastern Michigan. The database provides information on:
Food Assistance Education Consumer Support
Housing Services Employment Disaster Services
Financial Aid Programs Health Care Public Health and Safety
Transportation Mental Health Care Tax Preparation Assistance
Money Management Legal Aid Leisure Services
Family Support Crime Prevention Services Animal Services
The database can be searched by agency or program name or specific kind of service
needed. Service searches can be restricted geographically. The database features a
sophisticated interface that is designed specifically to meet the needs of call specialists.
It is accessible to the 2-1-1 call centers via a Citrix connection. A version of the database
that uses a customer-friendly interface is available on the web by special arrangement.
For more information about the Library’s database, contact: Conrad Welsing, Media
Relations, 313-833-4043, firstname.lastname@example.org .
The following is a typical entry in the Detroit Public Library’s database:
ELDER LAW OF MICHIGAN SERVICE DESCRIPTION: Provides legal
information and advice to grandparents who are
3815 W. St. Joseph, Suite C-200 acting as caretakers for minor children.
Lansing, MI 48917 Typical topics include guardianship, visitation,
(517) 372-5959 Administration and rights to public benefits. Does not provide
(517) 372-0792 Fax legal representation. Referrals are made to
(800) 347-LAWS Legal Hotline other legal resources, when appropriate.
Project is part of the Legal Hotline for
www.elderslaw.org Michigan Seniors.
email@example.com ELIGIBILITY: Michigan residents age 60 or
over or their authorized representative.
Katherine White, Executive Director APPLICATION: Call 800/347-5297
DESCRIPTION: Organization dedicated to (800/347-LAWS) for intake assessment and to
protecting the rights and dignity of older adults schedule a phone appointment with an attorney.
and their families. Urgent matters receive higher priority.
YEAR FOUNDED: 1990 FEES: None.
SITE AREA SERVED: Michigan.
SITE HOURS: 9-5, M-F. MICHIGAN PENSION RIGHTS PROJECT
Pension Benefits Assistance
Services SERVICE DESCRIPTION: Provides legal
information and advice regarding pension laws
LEGAL HOTLINE FOR MICHIGAN and rights and assistance in resolving pension-
SENIORS related problems. Does not provide legal
General Legal Aid* Older Adults representation. Makes referrals to other legal
Legal Information Lines resources, when appropriate. Project utilizes
SERVICE DESCRIPTION: Operates a the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors.
special telephone hotline that the public can use ELIGIBILITY: Michigan retirees of any age.
to speak with an attorney about issues affecting APPLICATION: Call 800/347-5297
older adults. Typical topics include: wills; (800/347-LAWS) for intake assessment and to
probate; Medicare/Medicaid; Social Security; schedule a phone appointment with an attorney.
consumer fraud; pension rights; kinship care; Urgent matters receive higher priority.
and medical rights/billing. Attorneys provide FEES: None.
information and advice but not legal
representation. Referrals are made to other MICHIGAN COORDINATED ACCESS TO
legal resources, when appropriate. FOOD FOR THE ELDERLY PROJECT
ELIGIBILITY: Michigan residents age 60 or (MiCAFE)
over or their authorized representative. Welfare Rights Assistance
APPLICATION: Call 800/347-5297 SERVICE DESCRIPTION: Provides
(800/347-LAWS) for intake assessment and to assistance in enrolling in food stamps and other
schedule a phone appointment with an attorney. public benefit programs (such as Medicaid) at
Urgent matters receive higher priority. local senior and community centers in Detroit.
FEES: None. ELIGIBILITY: Wayne County residents age
60 or over or their authorized representative.
KINSHIP CARE APPLICATION: Call 877/664-2233 for
Grandparent Rights referral to a local service center.
Guardianship Assistance FEES: None.