Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Manitoba.
211 Service Navigators are persistent. They do not give up when the first service that is tried does not work for the client. They will actively search for more options and can even call organizations on an inquirer’s behalf for more ideas if needed.
A senior called 211, stating that she wanted to speak to someone about the Seniors’ Home Energy Program that provided $400. She had been told by her neighbour to apply for it.
The 211 Service Navigator located the program, but information indicated that the program had finished in December 2021 and was no longer providing assistance. Unfortunately, she could not find information on new similar initiatives, or other referrals for seniors who needed that service.
The caller was asked if the Service Navigator could put her on hold, and call the program on her behalf for more information on the caller’s options. The senior gratefully gave her permission and she was put on hold.
The Service Navigator called the Home Energy Assistance Program through the Finance and Treasury Board. The staff at that program indicated that the program had indeed ended, but she referred the caller to contact New Brunswick Social Development. She was directed to the Emergency Fuel Benefit Program that helps individuals with heating costs. That program helps people on a case-by-case basis.
The Service Navigator went back to the caller and explained the information that she had been given, making sure the caller had the appropriate contact information for the suggested program. The caller was thankful to the Service Navigator for calling on her behalf.
These days, it can be hard to find information, even contact information, for agencies without the Internet. It is especially difficult if someone does not know the name of the agency. Fortunately, 211 Service Navigators have government and community agency information at their fingertips and are more than happy to share that knowledge. When people are confused about how to find the services they need, 211 is the first call to make.
A senior called 211 wanting to know more about provincial health coverage. She did not have access to the Internet and was not sure where to call for information. She was not in an emergency situation, but wanted to know information about health coverage before she was in a position to need it.
The Service Navigator immediately went on the Manitoba Health website and asked what her questions were. He offered to answer general questions and let her know that he could explain basic health coverage, but that he would have to refer her to Manitoba Health for specific questions.
Since her questions were fairly basic, the 211 Service Navigator was able to answer them with the help of the website. He made sure that the caller had the necessary contact information for Manitoba Health if she needed more clarification or help with this matter. He asked if she had any other needs, and she told him that she would call 211 again if she did. The caller thanked the Service Navigator for all the good work that 211 does and said that she was very happy 211 existed as a service.