Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Manitoba.
Paying attention to how a caller feels about a problem is very important for 211 Service Navigators. Unless people feel heard and emotionally supported, it is hard for them to concentrate on problem-solving and referrals. Service Navigators understand this, and will let callers talk about a situation and how they feel about it at their own pace. After that, a problem-solving conversation becomes much more helpful.
A woman called 211 looking for housing in Moncton. She was currently living in transitional housing. She wanted to find permanent housing that she could afford. She was finding it very challenging to find housing, and she was frustrated about the situation.
The 211 Service Navigator showed empathy to the caller – it is frustrating and stressful to look for housing these days. People can feel like they are going around in circles and it can be easy to feel hopeless about the situation. She let the caller talk about her emotions first, and present her situation in her own way.
When the caller seemed calmer, the Service Navigator asked if she could ask more questions, so that she could help the caller find housing referrals that could work better for her. The caller agreed. The Service Navigator asked several probing questions to clarify the kind of housing she needed, what she could afford, and in what part of the city she wanted to live. The Service Navigator found the caller two housing resources that could meet her needs and that she had not yet tried. The caller said that she would get in touch with the referrals, and the Service Navigator reminded her that she could call 211 again anytime if needed more help.
When people are concerned about the safety of their loved ones, it is understandably hard to think clearly. 211 Service Navigators can help people find the services that they need when it is difficult for them to focus because of their heightened emotions.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from an individual who lived outside of Manitoba. She was very concerned about her parents who were older adults living in Manitoba.
She had received a call from a home care provider in her parents’ city regarding her parents. Home care had been unable to reach them or enter the home, and had requested that she call them back. The caller stated that she had phoned her father right away, but he did not answer. She was very worried, and had just misplaced the home care number that she needed as well, probably because she was so stressed about the situation.
The Service Navigator let the caller know he would look for the home care provider’s number right away. He found it quickly and made sure the caller read it back to him.
He then suggested that the caller could contact the police detachment in her parents’ area and that the police could perform a wellness check to make sure that her parents were safe. He looked up the police detachment that served the area where the callers’ parents lived, and gave the caller an idea of how to ask for a wellness check. The Service Navigator let her know that she or her parents could contact 211, 24 hours, if they needed assistance accessing services in the community.