On my way home I needed to pick up some items and dashed in a liquor store and about half way through I found myself crying! A homeless man asked me what the problem was and I said, “They are going to pull the plug on my dad tomorrow and I can’t even contact the doctor to talk to him about it!” The homeless man, said “Oh, you need to call 211, they will help you.”
And I said “They can’t possibly help me with this.” The homeless man said “Oh yes, they help with just about everything!” So the next morning I called 211 and someone on the line said they would help me. He called somewhere on my behalf with me and right after that the doctor called and we made a plan for my dad to recover…he is 81 years old now, in a wheelchair, but I have my dad… and I have 211 to thank.
Assisting Non-profits & Local Governments
Helping Public Services Be More Effective
2-1-1 increases the reach of nonprofit and community programs, even among callers who would otherwise be unaware of, or who would not realize they were eligible for services.
2-1-1 pre-screens callers and only refers people who program eligibility requirements so that nonprofit and community organizations can use their resources more effectively. 2-1-1 streamlines the client process by utilizing on-line appointment setting and application submittal, saving staff time and funding for nonprofits.
Through outreach and awareness efforts, 2-1-1 connects social workers, clergy, doctors, lawmakers and others to programs in their communities so they know where to refer people they serve for help.
2-1-1 services help state and local government serve the public more effectively. 2-1-1 programs streamline the client process by utilizing on-line appointment setting and application submittal, saving staff time and funding government agencies. Because 2-1-1s keep detailed records of the number and types of calls they receive, they also are able to provide state and local agencies with accurate assessments of the changing needs of a given community – including which services are being utilized and where gaps exist.
In emergencies, 2-1-1 relieves pressure on 9-1-1 and emergency response teams by providing a number for citizens to call for non-emergency needs. During the 2007 San Diego wildfires, 2-1-1s answered more than 130,000 calls in 5 days.
When health epidemics emerge, 2-1-1s are an invaluable resource for public health agencies that need help fielding non-emergency calls. During the H1N1 scare of 2009, 2-1-1s across California handled over 1.8 million calls, freeing up public health agencies to deliver care.