Call 211 to find the help you need in Perth and Huron Counties
211 Day will be celebrated across Ontario, this Saturday February 11th, and United Way is helping promote this remarkable service available across Perth and Huron Counties by lighting their 80% bulb with United Way’s Director of Community Information, Susan Faber. The newly lit bulb represents $1,069,084 raised so far in the campaign.
“United Way brought 211 to our area 5 years ago”, shared Faber, “The 211 number fits in the same system as 911, 411 and 511 and offers a live referral service. When you call 211 for help, a real live specialist actually answers the phone to help you with your problem – a breath of fresh air in this day and age!”
This service is confidential, free of charge, offered in over 150 languages and available to everyone, whether the problems, challenges or questions are large or small. “By simply dialing 211 and sharing your challenge, the trained specialist will sort through ways local community services can help you, then provide their contact information to you or transfer you directly to the appropriate department”. The specialists are trained counsellors, so if the caller is upset or fragile, they can work through the emotional piece before getting to the heart of the challenge. Sometimes there is more to the problem than the caller is aware of, and even if services are found, there might be transportation and income challenges that make these services inaccessible to the caller. This is when the specialist steps into problem solving and advocacy roles as needed. Faber concluded, “A mom may need homework help for a child, a caregiver may need respite, someone recovering from surgery may need food and home help, or it could be a desperate phone call about the loss of a job, with rent due, an empty pantry and children depending on them. 211 is for everyone.”
This service is also available online and 211 Ontario is launching a greatly improved website to celebrate 211 day. This new website is available to local community services to embed on their own websites. They can contact United Way to find out more. “211 is a resource for community services as well,” shared Faber. “So often current community service clients misunderstand their needs and what agencies offer, or they need additional services from other groups – the agency can phone 211, hand the phone to their client and their next step to take can be found quickly with the assistance of the 211 specialist.” 211 can be used as a front door number to local, provincial and national helplines as well.
Faber is available for 211 group presentations in both Perth and Huron Counties. She also presents on: connectyouth.perththuon.ca a 211 powered website for the Youth of Perth and Huron Counties; i-VOLUNTEER a volunteer hub for organizations and events looking for volunteers and also for those looking to volunteer; and the Non-Profit Wish List, for those wanting to donate items to non-profit organizations that are seeking specific items. “It’s all part of United Way’s commitment to Community Information as a way to build strong communities”.
United Way supports nearly 50 organizations across Perth and Huron Counties. To help United Way meet the financial goal of $1,337,000, to continue supporting these local services, donations are gladly accepted in person at 32 Erie Street, Stratford, online at perthhuron.unitedway.ca or by calling 519-271-7730.
For more information or to set up an interview with Ryan Erb, Executive Director, please call 1-877-818-8867 or 519-271-7730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.