Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a woman who needed help navigating the human service system. She explained that she had just arrived in the City of Moncton and that she and her boyfriend tried to find employment but with no success. She said they were very discouraged as they had no money and they would also like to receive some assistance with job searching and pre-employment skills.
The caller was talkative and needed an listening ear. The Service Navigator showed her empathy – it is so hard to be in a new city and struggling financially. The Service Navigator helped the caller by clarifying the details of her situation and probing to obtain the right information. The caller informed the Service Navigator that she was pregnant and had been without an income for a while now. She said she felt lonely with no friends or family in the city. She was also speaking on the behalf of her boyfriend who was searching for a job, but had not secured employment yet. She said she would like to apply for some financial assistance, but did not know how.
A referral was given for social assistance benefits and she was told how to apply; she was also referred to their pre/post natal benefit as she is pregnant. She was told about the Employment Services Program, so that they could receive assistance in their job search. The caller needed an listening ear and emotional support, so she was also referred to a warmline.
Follow up was offered, but she declined. She was welcomed to call back as needed. The caller said that she was thankful for the information and the referrals. She had not known where to start and was relieved to have information.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can make it temporarily impossible to earn money. Financial support programs are there to help people going through these difficult times. People who work outdoors can be particularly affected by weather and climate conditions over which they have no control. 211 Service Navigators realize that everyone needs help sometimes. They will find the programs and support people need to get through hard times.
A senior called 211 saying that he was a fisherman. His Employment Insurance had just run out, but unfortunately, there was a lot of ice blocking his ability to continue fishing at the moment. The caller wanted to know if there was funding that he could access while waiting to start fishing for the year. He said: “I am unable to fish and not quite sure what to do until the ice clears.”
The 211 Service Navigator empathized with this situation – he wanted to work, but was unable to do so because of the weather/climatic conditions. She talked to him about financial programs and probed as to what he could be eligible for. After some clarification, it seemed that Income Support would be a viable option. She gave him details about the program and described how to apply. She made sure that he knew that 211 is open 24 hours, and that he could call again anytime if he needed more assistance.