As soon as 4 p.m. hit on Tuesday, the calls from people with financial problems and worries starting rolling in to the 211 call center at the United Way of Westchester and Putnam.
Volunteer financial experts were on hand until 7 p.m. to answer questions and provide free advice to Westchester and Putnam residents trying to cope with tough issues. As part of a special outreach effort through 211, the volunteers will be manning the phones again today from 4 to 7 p.m. to answer more questions and give advice.
United Way leader Naomi Adler said callers on Tuesday sought advice on everything from mortgage refinancing to how to handle their employee benefits. She said the volunteer experts manning the special phone lines at United Way can help residents cope with a wide variety of financial-related issues.
However, Adler and supporters of the financial help line program said residents can't get help if they don't call.
Gary Brown, assistant state Attorney General for Westchester, said people with pressing financial issues should not be shy about calling the free, confidential help line to get help.
"A simple call today can help problems from getting out of control," Brown said.
Brown said programs such as United Way's financial help line have proven successful and such efforts throughout the Hudson Valley are helping residents stave off dire problems such as foreclosure.