Starting Oct. 1, homeless people in Humboldt County can make a single phone call to be connected with a range of critical services by dialing 2-1-1.
Previously, local people looking for assistance needed to call lists of agencies and organizations to try to track down help, which can be difficult for someone with limited access to a phone.
“I think it can be traumatic when you are using up all of your cell phone minutes or trying to find a payphone,” said Karen “Fox” Olson, executive director of Arcata House, Inc., and co-chair of the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition. “Now you just have to make one phone call and tell one person your story.”
Now, with up-to-date lists of services at their fingertips, 2-1-1 call specialists walk callers through a confidential intake process that allows the specialists to provide referrals for a wide range of nonemergency services.
Calls to 2-1-1 are toll free and can be made from local land lines and cellular phones. For more information, call 707-441-1001 or visit www.theswitchboard.org.
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