Caller Story – June 14, 2021
Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
So much changes after the death of a spouse. 211 Service Navigators help people find the support services they are seeking after a loss.
A woman called from another province. She recently became a widow. She wants to move home to Newfoundland and Labrador with her children and to take some time off from working in order to heal emotionally. She told the Service Navigator: “I need to be near my family now and take time to recover.” She was specifically inquiring about services in Newfoundland and Labrador, wanting to know where to call to apply for assistance.
The Service Navigator expressed her condolences for the loss that the caller had experienced. She gave the caller time to express what she needed. The Service Navigator provided the caller with information on medical coverage (MCP) for herself and her children. She also gave information about possible financial assistance programs and how to apply.
The Service Navigator offered follow up since the caller had just suffered a loss and was going through a major transition. However, the caller said that she preferred to contact 211 herself after she moved back.
People are understandably overwhelmed when facing the prospect of losing their housing. 211 Service Navigators show empathy and ensure they understand the situation before they start to give referrals. Even the best referrals will not work if people are too overwhelmed to use them.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a woman who was crying. The caller said she is being evicted from her subsidized unit, where she has been living for several years. She said she has been dealing with legal issues with her neighbour, and the caller is being evicted as a result. She stated that she is also a single mother of a child with special needs.
The Service Navigator provided emotional support while she was trying to understand and clarify the situation. The caller was very upset, so the Service Navigator used a warm tone, and told the caller that she made the right decision by calling 211 and that she has options. The caller and the Service Navigator talked about which resources the caller had already used and what would be possible to do in her situation.
The client was so upset that she did not realize that she could ask for a transfer instead of moving out of subsidized housing altogether. She was encouraged to talk with her New Brunswick Housing officer, the Rentalsman of New Brunswick and her provincial representative for additional support and advocacy.
Since the client had been so upset at the beginning of the call, the Service Navigator suggested that 211 follow up with her to make sure the situation was improving. The caller agreed and a follow up call was scheduled.