South Bend's 311 call center aims to be "one-stop-shop" for problems

By: Sabrina Wu Email
By: Sabrina Wu Email

If you live in South Bend and have a question about city services, you now have one place you can call for an answer.

For the past month, four operators have been fielding calls about streets, trash pickup and water bills. They're in an office inside the South Bend Water Works Building.

The idea came about because people often didn't know who to call when they have a problem.

“There's nothing more frustrating than when you're on the phone trying to get a problem solved, than having somebody say well that's not my department call this number,” says Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The idea behind the 311 center is that it’s a one stop shop and makes it simple and straight forward to get answers and solutions.

The call center also lets the city know where trouble spots are in different departments and lets people know what's being done about it.

311 Director Cynthia Simmons says, “Citizens can log online and track the steps we are taking to resolve their issue. No citizen complaints fall off the Richter scale with what we have in place.”

The city used $300 thousand from other departments to fund the creation of the 311 line.

Not all departments are a part of the 311 line yet. Right now just water works, solid waste and streets are participating. The plan is to add more departments in the next few months.

People with questions can call 311 for answers between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. or place a service request online.

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