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.
The holiday season can be a stressful time for parents with low incomes. Holiday programs providing food hampers and toys for children can go a long way in helping parents to provide a happy holiday for their children. However, if parents do not know
where to apply, they could miss out on this assistance. 211 Service Navigators will happily direct parents to the programs that can help them for the holidays.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a woman in Moncton. She explained that she was looking for a Christmas food hamper and for toys for her children. The Service Navigator clarified exactly what kind of assistance she required, and she listened actively to the caller. She asked some probing questions including the age of the children to find programs that would be the best fit for the family. She also asked if the caller had applied for any holiday programs previously.
After the Service Navigator thoroughly understood the caller’s situation and what programs she might be eligible for, she offered the caller names and phone numbers of programs in her area that could assist her for the holiday for food, and also for toys for the children. The Service Navigator carefully explained the application procedures and deadlines for each of the programs to ensure that the caller could access the assistance. The caller was happy to take down the information, and said that she would contact the programs right away.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
When callers face barriers to accessing the services that they need, they can reach out to 211. 211 Service Navigators can advocate for callers who need assistance making connections with programs that can assist them.
A caller contacted 211 looking for help. The caller had a speech disability, which made it challenging for the Service Navigator to initially understand what they were requesting or the services that they were seeking. The Service Navigator actively listened to the caller and by asking certain questions the Service Navigator was able to determine that the caller was looking for a food hamper. The caller also asked if it was possible for the hamper to be delivered. She told the Service Navigator: “I have no one to help me.”
The 211 Service Navigator recognized that it would be very difficult for the caller to call the food banks themselves so, with the caller’s permission, she advocated for the caller by making a 3-way call to assist. The Service Navigator was able to connect to a food bank and by getting the caller’s name, they were able to determine that the caller had used that food bank previously, but now had no one to collect the hamper for them. The food bank does not deliver hampers, but the manager of the food bank offered to do this for the caller this one time. The caller would receive their hamper that evening.