Caller Story – May 20, 2023

Caller Story – May 20, 2023

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.

New Brunswick:

211 Service Navigators make efforts to control the pace of their interactions with inquirers, especially when the inquirers have more than one concern. They will take the time that 211 clients need to feel heard, and to go over options in a way that makes needed services easy to understand and access.

A 211 Service Navigator took a call from an English-speaking woman from Moncton, New Brunswick. The caller told the Service Navigator that she was looking for food banks in her area and also for affordable housing.

The Service Navigator was able to offer her referrals to both food programs and housing. In terms of food banks, the Service Navigator offered her information on how to access the Peter McKay Centre, the Karing Kitchen, and the Second Mile Food Bank.

For housing, the Service Navigator referred the caller to the Housing Navigators from Service New Brunswick and also at the NB Housing Department from the Department of Social Services. The Service Navigator also offered to refer her to shelters, but the caller declined that resource.

The caller wrote down all the resources names and phone numbers. She thanked the Service Navigator several times for her time and for the resources that were provided to her. The Service Navigator thanked her in turn, and encouraged her to call 211 anytime she needed more assistance or referrals to services in her community.

After the call, the Service Navigator reflected that when responding to a call with many needs, it is important to slowly go over the resource information with the caller and ensure that he or she wrote down the proper information or phone number for each resource. It helps to be patient with the caller and repeat the information if necessary.

Newfoundland and Labrador:

A food hamper does not do any good if the person who needs it cannot get it. Every day, 211 Service Navigators problem solve with clients on seemingly small practical issues that mean the difference between accessing what they need and going without.

A mother called 211 looking for ideas and assistance. She told the Service Navigator that she had mobility issues and a daughter who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The mother was qualified to access food from a food bank, but she needed assistance getting back home with the food hamper from the food bank. As she told the Service Navigator: “I can get there, but I just can’t carry it home. I am not able to.”

The Service Navigator and the caller brainstormed options together. Then they came up with a plan. The caller would connect with the food banks to see if they could assist in any way, such as having a food bank volunteer in her area delivering the hamper. The caller also said that she would connect with her worker at Income Support to see if a taxi voucher could be provided.

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