February 11 – a day we celebrate as national 2-1-1 day!

2-1-1 is a service that provides help when people need it most.  Anyone looking for community, health or human service resources can dial 2-1-1 to connect with a network of over 18,000 resources right here in North Carolina.

A call to NC 2-1-1 is free, confidential, and available all day, every day and in most languages.

A Real Impact On People’s Lives 

What kinds of issues do our neighbors need answers to? Here's an example of just two calls we’ve handled. 

Hunger isn’t usually the only issue 

A woman called, wanting to know where she could find a food pantry. While it would be very easy to provide a short list of options, it is our job as information and referral specialists to ask questions and see if there are other issues that the caller may not think to ask about. 

That’s when I learned that she had not eaten in a few days. It turns out she must eat her food along with a special medication and she was not able to afford her prescription.

Our first order of business was to find a resource to have the prescription filled and then provide information about the food pantries. As the caller had not eaten in a few days, I was concerned for her overall wellbeing and conducted an assessment to see if Adult Services could help.

It was clear she had a support network that she had not yet connected with and I helped her develop a plan to seek out that support.  I followed up with her the next day and learned she had gotten her prescription filled and found a ride to the food pantry.  She is now connected to the local Community Resource Connections agency who will help her navigate her ongoing needs.

The Death of a Loved One Can Be a Life Altering Event 

A caller contacted us on behalf of her mother, Cassie*. Cassie’s husband recently passed away and his death and the loss of his income had greatly altered their budget.

Cassie was unable to afford the oil necessary for heating during the winter. But as we talked, I learned that Cassie did not know how to report the death of her husband to Food Stamps, and that food was a struggle for her on a monthly basis.

I provided referrals to help Cassie get assistance with heating oil. We also connected her with a few food pantries and taught her the best way to report her recent change to Food Stamps. In addition, I referred her to the Council on Aging to see what other programs her mother may be available to receive.

Upon follow up, I learned that a local agency was able to fill the oil tank for the winter; she was no longer experiencing food insecurity and the Council on Aging was scheduled to visit with her this week.

*name changed for privacy reasons