One of the most rewarding things that a Referral Specialist can discover is a resource that we were previously unaware of. These unexpected resources help assist callers and remind us how interconnected and supportive our community is.
Neela, a 2-1-1 specialist, received a call from a mother of two children who was fleeing a domestic violence situation. The mother needed food for her family, but her car did not work and she had no money to fix it, so she inquired about places that could deliver food. This was a difficult resource to refer to, as food pantries that deliver are uncommon, but Neela thought she may be able to find some assistance for the caller if she advocated for her.
After getting the caller's permission to contact people on her behalf, Neela called the closest food pantry and left a message. She also contacted the local food bank to see if they could recommend any pantries beyond those already known to 2-1-1. Neela ultimately got in touch with a place who was able to deliver food on a one-time basis and connected them to the caller.
During a follow-up call a few days later, the caller said that the place 2-1-1 connected her to delivered a food box the same day she talked to them. She also received an unemployment check a few days later, as well as food stamps (SNAP). She thanked Neela for the assistance and said she was in a much more stable place.