Contact Ministries, Inc. (“Contact 211”) – Johnson City, TN
In the early spring of 1977, the Reverend Jim Green, then Johnson City District Superintendent of United Methodist Church, and area Methodist churches got together to explore the need for a faith-based telephone counseling ministry in Johnson City. Through their efforts, Contact Ministries, Inc. was born.
After the 9/11 tragedy in New York City, the 911 numbers were so crowded with non-emergency phone calls, the federal government went to United Way of America to ask them to support a call center for Information and Referral nationally, called 211. United Way agreed.
Contact Ministries, Inc. in Johnson City, TN was chosen to serve as the 211 call center for Carter, Greene, Unicoi, and Washington counties. To help the community better identify with the services offered and provide an easy way for people to remember the phone number, the organization began incorporating “Contact 211” as the brand.
From 1977 to 2017, Contact 211 served hundreds of thousands of callers, through the Help Line, Information & Referral, and Reassurance Call services.
Contact-Concern of Northeast Tennessee, Inc. – Kingsport, TN
In 1976, a community need for suicide prevention was identified by Reverend Dan Kelly in Kingsport. The result was Contact Concern of Kingsport, Inc. being created to address these needs. In the 1990’s the United Way of Greater Kingsport was looking for an organization to help provide information and referral services to the community. The organization assumed this role and the name was changed to Contact Concern of Northeast Tennessee, Inc. Along with information and referral, reassurance calls were initiated to those with limited contacts or that were homebound. Counties served by Contact Concern of Northeast Tennessee were: Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, and Sullivan.