Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from Manitoba and New Brunswick.
Many people are not sure when it is best to call the police or other emergency personnel when they are facing a new or frightening situation. They may also be confused by emergency procedures and how to access assistance. 211 Service Navigators are trained to know when callers should be in touch with emergency responders and are able to facilitate that. Service Navigators will quickly assess the situation and find the right kind of help.
A man called 211 from the United States. He was from Manitoba, but had moved to the United States. He was confused as to what to do. His relative, who lived in Manitoba, had gone missing, and he was not sure what the procedure would be to get help with that. He had already tried to call the police in the United States, but that had not worked. He really did not know what to do next and was hoping that 211 could give him some help and direction.
The 211 Service Navigator assessed the situation. She found out where in Manitoba the relative lived and found the contact information for the police. She gave the ten digit number to the caller, but also asked if he wanted assistance in getting through to the police. The caller accepted the offer of assistance.
The Service Navigator made a 3-way call to the police. She explained the situation to dispatch. She was then put through to the right staff member who could help with missing persons. She explained the situation to the staff member, and let the caller know that he could call 211 again any time if he had questions about services in Manitoba. She then exited the call, leaving the caller on the phone with the police.
Many people know about 211’s role in helping people find the services they need. However, not as many people know that 211 Service Navigators often help people who want to find an organization to which to generously donate their money, goods or time. Over the years, 211 Service Navigators have assisted people in donating items as diverse as food, medical supplies, sofas, knitting, cloth and binders – to name just a few items. Service Navigators are happy to think outside the box to get useful goods to the people who need them. These are heartwarming calls to receive.
A man in New Brunswick called 211 with an interesting question. He had a truckload of extra wood and wanted to donate it where it would do the most good. He realized that many people still depend on wood for heating, and he thought the donation could make a difference to people who found it hard to keep up their wood supply during the winter months.
The 211 Service Navigator let the caller know that this could be a very welcome donation to some organizations who serve people in need. Supplies like wood are very important during winter.
She made sure that she knew the location of the caller and other logistical issues. She then suggested organizations that could benefit from such a donation. The caller took down all of the information and said that he would call them. The Service Navigator thanked him for his call and his generosity.