Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Manitoba.
It can be difficult to find reliable information and resources even for community workers. They want to help clients, but it is especially hard if they are confronting issues that are new to them. 211 is open 24 hours a day, and will provide options and information for even the most difficult circumstances.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a community worker in the Miramichi area who had a female client who was looking for assistance with housing. The client also had a child, and the worker expressed some concerns about the safety of the child. She was not sure whom to contact about either concern.
The 211 Service Navigator listened actively to the caller and probed for more details and clarification about the situation of her client. The Service Navigator gave the worker information on the duty to report if she had concerns about the safety of a child. She let her know how to make a report and made sure that the worker had the contact information for Child Protection.
In terms of housing, the Service Navigator probed as to what exactly the client would need. It seemed that the client’s need was predominately financial, not about actually finding housing. The Service Navigator asked more questions regarding eligibility and found that the New Brunswick Housing Benefit could be a good fit for the client. She gave the worker details of the program and made sure that she knew how to assist the client in applying for the benefit. The worker thanked the Service Navigator, and the Service Navigator let her know that she could call 211 24 hours, and also give the 211 number out to her clients.
It is heartwarming for 211 Service Navigators to witness how many people want to help others. Sometimes though, people just do not know how best to help or feel unqualified to assist in a situation that they themselves have not experienced. This is where 211 comes in. 211 Service Navigators can assess situations and find services that can assist people facing difficult times.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a woman who was waiting for a bus in a bus shelter. The caller was very concerned about a senior who appeared to be experiencing homelessness and was living in the bus shelter. She really wanted to help the woman, but was not sure of what to do. She was looking for an agency that would be able to help the woman, so that she would not have to sleep outside.
The 211 Service Navigator told the caller that he would seek assistance for the woman. First, he made sure that the woman was not experiencing a medical emergency that would need an ambulance. The woman was not in need of an ambulance or emergency medical help.
The Service Navigator gathered some more information about the location of the caller. He found a street outreach van that would be able to go to the bus shelter and offer services to the woman living there. With the caller’s permission, he made a warm transfer of the caller to the outreach van, so that they could obtain more information about the situation to best help the woman.