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August 5, 2017: Contact Concern merges with Contact 211





Contact Concern merges with Contact 211

Holly Viers • Aug 5, 2017 at 7:00 PM

KINGSPORT — In an effort to better serve the community, Kingsport’s Contact Concern of Northeast Tennessee and Johnson City’s Contact 211 have merged, forming Contact 211 of Northeast Tennessee.


As part of the merger, which was effective July 1, the two organizations have combined their resources and moved into one office, located in Kingsport.

“It brings the resources together, so we eliminated some of the duplication of two offices and duplication in other expenses,” said Margaret Counts, executive director of the new entity. “So we’re better able to use the resources that we have to expand our services.”


Counts said the two organizations had the same missions and provided the same services, which she believes made the merger a smart move. She added that the merger will not affect any of the services the organizations previously provided independently.  “There’s no real change in our operating practices, so it’s invisible to the people who call us,” Counts said. “They still dial the same number and get the same service.”


Contact 211 of Northeast Tennessee serves Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties. The organization provides information, referrals and support to those in need through its helpline, which can be reached at (423) 246-2273 or 211.


The organization can assist callers with a variety of problems or needs, including temporary financial assistance, medical advice, abusive situations, depression or loneliness. The helpline is run by volunteers, who handle thousands of calls per year.


In the coming months, Counts said the organization will launch a new service, which will allow people to request information via text message.

“We are here to help anybody who needs it,” Counts said. “Nobody has to face their problems alone.”

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